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Monday, May 20, 2024 - 08:01 AM


First Published in 1994


Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery under new management
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery under new management.  

Ukraine Is Ruling Out Peace Talks and Cancelling Churches

In Part 11 of this series, Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin talked about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and issues of concern in Russian-American relations. The Commentary included statistics on Ukraine’s alarming population decline and the Ukrainian Army’s  heavy losses and severe shortage of manpower. Below, Tucker Carlson begins a discussion on peace negotiations.

Tucker Carlson: I wonder if that’s true with the war though also, I mean, I guess I want to ask one more question which is, and maybe you don’t want to say so for strategic reasons, but are you worried that what’s happening in Ukraine could lead to something much larger and much more horrible and how motivated are you just to call the US government and say, “let’s come to terms”?

Vladimir Putin: Listen, I have already said: we did not refuse negotiations. We are not refusing. This his is the Western side, and Ukraine is, of course, a satellite of the United States today. It is obvious. True, I don’t want this to sound like some kind of curse or insult to someone, but we both understand, right, what’s going on?

Financial support, US $72 billion, was provided. Germany ranks second, then other European countries come. Dozens of billions of dollars are going to Ukraine. There is a huge influx of weapons. In this case you should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to the negotiating table, rescind this absurd decree. We did not refuse.

Commentary: On October 22, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law ruling out Ukrainian peace talks with Putin. This followed Putin’s September 30 announcement that four partially occupied Russian-speaking oblasts (states) would be a permanent part of the Russian Federation. This had been confirmed by referendums on September 23-27 in each of the four oblasts. Donetsk and Lugansk had previously seceded from Ukraine in 2014 and asked to become part of the Russian Federation, as did Crimea. Only Crimea was accepted at the time. Those who know the history of Ukrainian government mistreatment of the Russian ethnic population of these regions following the US-inspired and backed 2014 Maidan Revolution and coup, should not be surprised at the referendum results: Donetsk voted 99 percent and Lugansk 98 percent at turnout levels of 93-95 percent to become part of Russia. Zaporizhia voted 93 percent and Kherson 87 percent to join Russia. The Kyiv government’s mandated  Ukrainization of language, culture, religious denomination, and history was reason enough. But from 2014 to 2022 Ukrainian Army artillery continually bombarded civilian areas of Donetsk, especially, killing more than 4,000 civilians.

Ironically, President Zelensky had proposed peace terms in late March 2022 that Putin was ready to accept at that time. These peace talks were held in Istanbul under the sponsorship of the Turkish government. The agreement would have meant only the loss of Donetsk and Lugansk to Ukraine and obligations to treat Russian-speakers as full citizens in the rest of Ukraine. As a good will gesture, Putin had pulled Russian troops back from Kyiv. This agreement was rejected after a visit to Zelensky by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The U.S. and UK had apparently convinced Zelensky that Ukraine could win the war, and that Russia was weak and would quickly collapse because of Western economic sanctions. Russia would be permanently reduced to a secondary power. Ukraine could become part of NATO and the EU.  These promises did not turn out. The cost to Ukraine has been more than 400,000 Ukrainian troops killed and a collapsing economy. Over 12 million people have fled the country.

Tucker Carlson: Well, sure, you have already said it — I didn’t think you meant it as an insult — because you have already said, correctly, it's been reported that Ukraine was prevented from negotiating peace settlement by the former British prime-minister acting on behalf of the Biden administration. Of course, it's our satellite, big countries control small countries, that's not new. And that is why I asked about dealing directly with the Biden administration, which is making these decisions, not president Zelensky of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin: Well, if the Zelensky administration in Ukraine refused to negotiate, I assume that they did it under the instruction from Washington. If Washington believes it to be the wrong decision, let it abandon it, let it find a delicate excuse so that no one is insulted, let it come up with a way out. It was not us who made this decision, it was them, so let them go back on it. That is it.

However, they made the wrong decision and now we have to look for a way out of this situation, to correct their mistakes. They did it so let them correct it themselves. We support this.

Tucker Carlson: So, I just want to make sure I am not misunderstanding what you are saying — and I don't think that I am — I think you are saying you want a negotiated settlement to what's happening in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin: Right. And we made it, we prepared a huge document in Istanbul that was initialed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation. He affixed his signature to some of the provisions, not to all of it. He put his signature and then he himself said: “We were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago, eighteen months ago. However, Prime Minister Johnson came, talked us out of it and we missed that chance.” Well, you missed it, you made a mistake, let them get back to that, that is all. Why do we have to bother ourselves and correct somebody else’s mistakes?

I know one can say it is our mistake, it was us who intensified the situation and decided to put an end to the war that started in 2014 in Donbas, as I have already said, by means of weapons. Let me get back to further in history, I already told you this, we were just discussing it. Let us go back to 1991 when we were promised that NATO would not be expanded, to 2008 when the doors to NATO opened, to the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine declaring Ukraine a neutral state. Let us go back to the fact that NATO and US military bases started to appear on the territory of Ukraine creating threats for us. Let us go back to the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014. It is pointless though, isn’t it? We may go back and forth endlessly. But they stopped negotiations. Is it a mistake? Yes. Correct it. We are ready. What else is needed?

Tucker Carlson: Do you think it is too humiliating at this point for NATO to accept Russian control of what was two years ago Ukrainian territory?

Vladimir Putin: I said let them think how to do it with dignity. There are options if there is a will.

Up until now there has been the uproar and screaming about inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield. Now they are apparently coming to realize that it is difficult to achieve, if possible at all. In my opinion, it is impossible by definition, it is never going to happen. It seems to me that now those who are in power in the West have come to realize this as well. If so, if the realization has set in, they have to think what to do next. We are ready for this dialogue.

Tucker Carlson: Would you be willing to say, ”Congratulations, NATO, you won?“ And just keep the situation where it is now?

Vladimir Putin: You know, it is a subject matter for the negotiations no one is willing to conduct, or to put it more accurately, they are willing but do not know how to do it. I know they want. It is not just I see it but I know they do want it but they are struggling to understand how to do it. They have driven the situation to the point where we are at. It is not us who have done that, it is our partners, opponents who have done that. Well, now let them think how to reverse the situation. We are not against it.

It would be funny if it were not so sad. This endless mobilization in Ukraine, the hysteria, the domestic problems – sooner or later it all will result in an agreement. You know, this will probably sound strange given the current situation but the relations between the two peoples will be rebuilt anyway. It will take a lot of time but they will heal.

I will give you very unusual examples. There is a combat encounter on the battlefield, here is a specific example: Ukrainian soldiers are surrounded, this is an example from real life, our soldiers shout to them: “There is no chance! Surrender yourselves! Come out and you will be alive!” Suddenly the Ukrainian soldiers were screaming from there in Russian, perfect Russian, saying: “Russians do not surrender!” and all of them perished. They still feel Russian.

What is happening is, to a certain extent, an element of a civil war. Everyone in the West thinks that the Russian people have been split by hostilities forever. No. They will be reunited. The unity is still there.

Why are the Ukrainian authorities dismantling the Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Because it brings together not only the territory, it brings together our souls. No one will be able to separate the soul.

Commentary: In 1990, the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) granted independence and self-governance to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) but continued its tradition of spiritual guidance by the Moscow Patriarchate, which had existed since about 1686. The UOC was thus considered an autonomous church within the greater umbrella of the ROC. The UOC was the largest of two main Orthodox church denominations in Ukraine with over 11,000 parishes. The smaller of the two with 7,000 parishes was the Orthodox Church in Ukraine (OCU) with its own Patriarchate in Kyiv.  Following the 2014 Maidan Revolution and US-backed coup, some bishops of the OCU and especially the new anti-Russian Poroshenko government wanted to break all ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2018, the Poroshenko government and these OCU bishops with the help of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other American officials persuaded  the nominal ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (in Muslim Istanbul) to approve complete “autocephaly” (independence)  for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. This began a campaign of property confiscations and even arrests of UOC clergy loyal to the Russian Patriarchate. This pattern of discrimination is also being applied to clergy and members of the UOC who refuse to comply with the cultural, language, and religious Ukrainization policies of the Ukrainian government and its OCU Patriarch and bishops.  In October 2023, the Ukrainian Rada (Parliament) initiated steps to ban the UOC because of its Moscow connections. The UOC, however, remains strong in Russian occupied areas of southern and eastern Ukraine. The UOC, like the ROC, is more conservative on Biblical and social issues than the now government backed OCU. Putin and ROC Patriarch Kirill were outraged. This has also further outraged the heavily Russian ethnic oblasts of Crimea, and eight other oblasts in southern and eastern Ukraine against the rule of the Kyiv government. Putin has promised to defend their religious rights.  

 Vladimir Putin: Shall we end here or there is anything else?

Tucker Carlson: Thank you, Mr. President.

Final Commentary

In the first three days, after the February 8, Carlson-Putin interview, the 17,000-word, two-hour news event, got 14 million hits on YouTube and 185 million hits on X (formerly Twitter). It set a record for X under Elon Musk ownership. But how many came away with a better understanding of Putin and Russian-American relations?  One source advised that all we know is that a least 6 million watched it on You-Tube for at least 30 seconds. Besides the U.S. and the Russian Federation, what audiences around the world focused on it? How many now have a better understanding of Putin, Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. foreign policy on the issues discussed? It is difficult to evaluate foreign policy issues without knowing the cultural, historical, and political context. Context is necessary for true understanding. Most American, Canadian, and Western European media, however, are not themselves well-informed on the issues and  contextual background of the issues here.  Moreover, many are blindly dedicated to their own corporate, political, and historical narratives. Carlson’s interview of Putin is especially important because it helps a largely uniformed and frequently misinformed public to penetrate the massive false narratives spun by many of our political leaders and their captive media.

The Ukraine War is terribly misunderstood by a large sector of the American public and apparently by a majority in Congress. This has created an unconscionable disaster, for which we are largely responsible. We should not be doubling-down on an unconscionable misadventure.

In my opinion, the best book currently published on the context of the Ukraine War is Operation Z, by Col. Jacques Baud, former Chief-of-Staff of Swiss Strategic Intelligence. He is also the author of several excellent supplemental books on the Ukraine War.

“The goal of a just war is a just peace.”—Augustine (paraphrased)


Mike ScruggsMike Scruggs is the author of two books: The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths; and Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You, and over 600 articles on military history, national security, intelligent design, genealogical genetics, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.

He holds a BS degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Stanford University. A former USAF intelligence officer and Air Commando, he is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. He is a retired First Vice President for a major national financial services firm and former Chairman of the Board of a classical Christian school.

Click the website below to order books. http://www.universalmediainc.org/books.htm.