In an interview with Reuters, Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman for decades, made a startling offer. Moscow could end the Ukraine war immediately, said Peskov, if four conditions were met.

Ukraine should cease all military action, recognize Crimea as part of Russia, accept the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk separatist enclaves, and enact a constitutional commitment to "neutrality," which would prevent Ukraine from ever joining NATO.

Were this to be done, said Peskov, the war "will stop in a moment."

As this would restore the situation in Ukraine to the "status quo ante" that existed before Putin ordered the invasion, Peskov's offer seemed not to be believable.

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When several NATO nations revealed that they had dozens of Russian-made MiG-29s, the idea arose to fly them to Ukraine and turn them over to Ukrainian pilots familiar with the MiGs.

America would provide F-16s to replace the MiGs.

Poland had an even better idea. Warsaw would fly its 27 MiG fighter jets to the U.S. Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The planes would be turned over to the Americans there, repainted and flown to Ukraine.

How to get the MiGs to Ukraine's pilots would be left to the Americans.

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After Friday's NATO summit refused to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the allies' failure to "close the skies" to Russian military aircraft gives "a green light for further bombing of Ukrainian cities."

"All the people who will die starting from this day will ... die because of you," said Zelensky to NATO, "because of your weakness."

Zelensky's indictment of NATO for cowardice came after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ruled out a no-fly zone:

"NATO is not party to the conflict. NATO is a defensive alliance. ... We don't seek war, conflict with Russia. ... We should not have NATO planes operating over Ukrainian airspace or NATO troops on Ukrainian territory."

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When Hungarian rebels arose in 1956 to overthrow the Communist regime imposed by Joseph Stalin, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to send U.S. forces to aid the Hungarians.

Ike would not take America to war with Russia over a small country in Central Europe.

While the Hungarians were heroic and inspirational, Hungary was neither a member of NATO nor a vital U.S. interest. Moreover, it was on the Soviet side of the Yalta line dividing Europe, and agreed to by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill at Yalta in 1945.

For similar reasons today, President Joe Biden has refused to send U.S. troops, ships or planes to attack Russian forces invading Ukraine.

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From his principal avenues of attack on Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin began this war with three strategic goals.

Send an army south from Belarus to capture Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and replace the government. Send forces into northeast Ukraine to capture its second largest city, Kharkiv, with 1.4 million people.

Third, extend the Donetsk enclave westward to establish a land bridge to Crimea and give Russia full control of the Sea of Azov and most of the Ukrainian coast along the Black Sea.

This last objective is almost achieved. Yet, as of Monday evening, five days into the war, neither Kyiv nor Kharkiv had fallen, though Russia had committed most of the troops it had assembled for the invasion.

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