Patterico's Pontifications


President Zelensky Clarifies Yet Again: Ukraine Is Our Territory, Including Crimea

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:26 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I have a gripe. While I’m pretty sure he would claim that he was simply asking the questions that need to be asked, I was irritated when 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley put the onus on Ukraine for peace in a clip released prior to the interview with Ukraine’s President Zelensky:

PELLEY: Can you give up any part of Ukraine for peace?

ZELENSKY: No, this is our territory.

PELLEY: You must have it all, including Crimea?

ZELENSKY: Today you and I… you said it to me… you saw me awarding people [medals]. [Well] today is a day like that. A week ago, I gave awards to parents [of soldiers who have been killed]. There were 24 families of the dead. There was a woman. She was with three children. There were parents, very old. They could barely walk and they had had only one son. One of the women was pregnant. She arrived holding a baby in her arms. And she was pregnant. And that baby will never see… what should I tell them? That all of them died so that we could say, “It’s okay, [Russia] you can take it all.” It’s a difficult job. You understand me, right? Giving awards to people whose faces show their whole world has collapsed. And all I can give them, all I can give them – is victory.

Why isn’t the onus for peace put on the invading country rather than the sovereign nation that continues to battle an enemy seeking to destroy while occupying its territories? Peace will come when Russia leaves Ukraine and gives back the illegally occupied territories. There is nothing Zelensky can do to bring peace, other than defeat Russia, drive them out, and severely weaken them. If Zelensky said, yes, we will let them have the occupied territories, including Crimea, Russia won’t stop their march of conquest and genocide. Why would they? What indicators has Putin given that would make anyone believe he would be satisfied with that and stop his war on Ukraine – and by extension, democracy? Especially when the goal is to wipe out Ukraine and subsume it into Russia. It is inarguable that the burden for peace in Ukraine rests on Russia and Russia alone. But Pelley’s phrasing (coupled with his condescending tone) seems to imply that Zelensky should be willing to give up something for peace, because apparently the deaths of around 170,000+ soldiers and 10,000 civilians isn’t enough of a sacrifice. Additionally, Pelley’s tone of disbelief when asking “You must have it all, including Crimea?” sounds like he’s scolding Zelensky for being selfish.

Normally I wouldn’t be so judgy about a clip, but the thing is, this is the clip that 60 Minutes released to advertise the interview with President Zelensky. Anyway, I took a look around and it appears that I am in good company with my irritation:

Deplorable. Help Russia destroy his country? Murder more Ukrainians? It’s also a question based on the blatantly false pretenses that Russia wants peace and that Putin can be trusted. Ukraine gave up parts of Ukraine in 2014 and Putin attacked again. Not anyway, but because.

How about, “Why are the US and other NATO nations sitting on the weapons you need to save lives, retake your land, and bring peace?” Or, “What should happen to the nations and companies providing Russia and its allies with tech & parts used to murder Ukrainians?”

Russia has occupied and destroyed entire cities, leaving a trail of rape, torture, and countless other war crimes. Ukrainian children kidnapped, their parents murdered. Those are the human beings who live on the land this question asks Zelenskyy to give up for a fictional peace.

Putin has never stopped saying that his goal is the destruction of Ukraine. Russian propaganda boasts that this is a war of conquest and genocide. The only way to any real peace is Ukrainian victory, Ukraine whole and free, and Russia defeated and defanged.

P.S. I would add that while Zelensky didn’t bristle at the questions in the clip above, the smarmy Pelley did in fact provide an enormous platform for Ukraine’s president to once again clarify Ukraine’s position.


38 Responses to “President Zelensky Clarifies Yet Again: Ukraine Is Our Territory, Including Crimea”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (932d71)

  2. Mr. Zelensky: Ukraine will need to rebuild and de-mine. What percent of Russian energy production should be turned over to Ukraine and for what duration so Ukraine can accomplish this rebuilding and de-mining?

    steveg (88fd35)

  3. how about giving putin north floriduh, west texas or all of oklahoma for peace.

    asset (42cadb)

  4. Ukraine won’t give up anything. Not saying that’s right or wrong, but they won’t. Russia won’t either. So where does that leave this? No foreseeable end to the war. I cannot support more money for this war from the US if we have no plan to get out. No plan how this ends. No exit strategy. We don’t even know what victory looks like. We are at a stalemate. Nobody has an answer to this. Endless money will be spent and endless lives will be lost as long as no one is willing to negotiate.

    If we had a plan with a realistic defined end to this – a plan to end this and get out – I would be good with that. We don’t. Nobody does.

    eddie (8fc65a)

  5. Ukraine shouldn’t have to give up anything – they were invaded by a hostile regime that wants to erase them. It is Russia who must end this by leaving or by Ukraine defeating them. And the rendering them ineffective.

    Dana (932d71)

  6. The plan is don’t start world war III! This is said about guerrilla warfare ;but works just as well here. If putin doesn’t win he loses and if ukraine doesn’t lose it wins. As the boss sings he’s all gone their still THERE! This is how my side fights.

    asset (bfc9e4)

  7. I completely agree with your assessments, Dana. Another great post, thank you.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  8. @4, If we stop providing arms, then Ukraine will lose and there will be mass slaughter as Russia cleans up. We will have helped whittle down the Russian War machine, but we will also show Russia that they can simply wait us out…that politically we are so divided and have a such a short attention span that eventually we will lose interest. The message to China is equally dismal. If we won’t even send weapons to Europe, will we really sacrifice blood and treasure for an island in China’s backyard?

    There’s lot of moral questions here? Is it moral to enable Ukraine to fight for its existence? Is the cost worth it in terms of degrading Russia’s war-making powers and putting pressure on Putin’s regime because of an increasingly costly war? If we don’t oppose this naked aggression, what do we really stand for? The cost is not insignificant but what domestic initiative has greater long-term significance?

    We do need to have rational discussions about the overall budget and an emerging $2T deficit and $33T debt. But hyper-partisanship and gamesmanship tends to just yield more Kabuki Theater. Everyone wants power but no one can make hard decisions for the good of the country. We can’t continue to indulge hating our neighbor and hope to ever get important things done.

    I think we have to continue to let Ukraine fight…while also putting as much economic pressure on Russia as possible. The Putin regime is evil and should not be given an easy out. What they perpetrated here is ghastly and we should not distill it down to dollars and cents. Sometime you must fight for what’s right.

    AJ_Liberty (8cde10)

  9. This has been bothering me for awhile, and I’m reiterating a lot of what you’re saying, Dana, but this narrative continues to be so one-sided. The real questions are, what will Russia give up for peace, and what concessions will Putin make to stop his unprovoked illegal war.

    Why is it Zelenskyy is the guy who has to compromise, but not Putin? What assurances do any of the parties have that Putin will keep his word? That’s a critical question because, after he welshed on Budapest and Minsk, his word sucks.

    It’s as if the leaders of the world don’t understand that the one person who has the real power to end the violence is Putin. It’s not Zelenskyy, not Biden, not Xi. It all rests on the little Russian autocrat. And right now, Putin seems only interested in making demands, not concessions or compromises.

    In the interim, the best we can do is give Zelenskyy what he’s asking for, and for Biden to stop slow-walking deliveries. The counteroffensive is still progressing, albeit slowly, and they’re continuing to degrade Russian assets and reclaim conquered territory. And it’s important that Ukraine get back what was taken, in part because Russia is a terrorist state.

    One other thing. Lindsey Graham deserves all kinds of rebuke for being such a whopping lapdog and supplicant to Trump, but he’s been consistent about Putin’s War Against Ukraine…

    A) Graham: The intelligence community made it very clear that if we’re perceived as having given up on Ukraine and to giving in to Putin’s Putin’s invasion, the world will change dramatically. Quickly. That China is watching every move.

    B) Graham: We sense that China is perplexed by how hard it’s been for Russia. We believe that if we pull the plug on Ukraine. Uh, Putin would move to other countries pretty quickly.

    C) Graham: If you were in that briefing and you came away believing that what we do in Ukraine doesn’t affect our national security interest in the world, you literally had your ears closed

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  10. When you see the words “exit strategy”, you are seeing Russian propaganda. Not not pro-Russian. Russian!

    They also like “proxy war”, and “civil war” is de rigueur among the vestigial paleo-Soviets.

    nk (bb1548)

  11. comedy sketch on Russians lying as to why their submarine is in Norway “We are fishing, deep sea fishing”

    steveg (cf2aaf)

  12. nk (bb1548) — 9/21/2023 @ 8:33 am

    There is no war, it’s a “special operation.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. There’s enough commentary between-the-lines and on-the-lines from Milley and his colleagues to conclude that he did not relish his time working for the malignant narcissist.

    But his views emerged in a number of books published after Trump left office, written by authors who had spoken with Milley, and many other civilian and military officials, on background. In The Divider, Peter Baker and Susan Glasser write that Milley believed that Trump was “shameful,” and “complicit” in the January 6 attack. They also reported that Milley feared that Trump’s “‘Hitler-like’ embrace of the big lie about the election would prompt the president to seek out a ‘Reichstag moment.'”

    These views of Trump align with those of many officials who served in his administration. Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, considered Trump to be a “f-cking moron.” John Kelly, the retired Marine general who served as Trump’s chief of staff in 2017 and 2018, has said that Trump is the “most flawed person” he’s ever met. James Mattis, who is also a retired Marine general and served as Trump’s first secretary of defense, has told friends and colleagues that the 45th president was “more dangerous than anyone could ever imagine.” It is widely known that Trump’s second secretary of defense, Mark Esper, believed that the president didn’t understand his own duties, much less the oath that officers swear to the Constitution, or military ethics, or the history of America.

    The RCP average is a clear enough sign that too many in the GOP are in a cult.

    BTW, I’m sure Milley did serve with honor but the cut-and-run from Afghanistan that he presided over was not honorable or worthy of distinction.

    Were the senators applauding General Milley’s stellar performance during the Afghanistan withdrawal? His complicity in that debacle? His deceptive comments, and dare I say outright lies, about the situation on the ground as the withdrawal progressed? Shame on the senate for refusing to hold him accountable, and for cheering him on the way out the door.

    Although a lot longer than Roggio’s paragraph, the Atlantic piece is worth a full read.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  14. Oops, that was meant for the open thread.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  15. I understand the “right” thing to do is fight for Ukraine. But if the right thing doesn’t or isn’t working, do you continue to do it?? This reminds me of the ol’ classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Ukraine will never get back Crimea. They also won’t settle for not getting it back. Thus, they will continue to fight this war forever theoretically. No one even knows what “winning” this thing even means. We should be solution focussed here. I’m not saying negotiation, or anything for that matter, will work at all. I’m not saying I have a way to effectively solve this thing. I don’t. But we need to do SOMETHING different to try and stop this. The status quo is futile.

    Continuing on will only spend tens of billions of dollars more and, more importantly, kill tens of thousands more people.

    eddie (8fc65a)

  16. I wouldn’t be so certain about how the outcome will unfold, eddie.
    The Crimean peninsula is practically an island with only a handful of routes on and off, so cutting off those nodes neutralizes Putin’s ability to use it for military ops.

    The Kerch bridge is a few well placed missile strikes from being impassable, and similarly for the bridges connecting the peninsula to the mainland, and the Sevastopol naval base is vulnerable to strikes, considering how a couple of vessels were destroyed last week in their naval yard.

    As for casualties, yes, there have been and there will be, and they’re all on Putin and the rashist invaders. It’s not as if they don’t agency or free choice. They’re fighting for their existence as a nation and a culture and their own language, which the Russian occupiers have tried to wipe out in the conquered lands, so we’re willing to fight for it, and it’s not a coincidence that Zelenskyy has 90% approval.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  17. An important thing to note: we are mostly sending old equipment that is waiting to be scrapped. Instead of paying the costs to store and scrap, we instead actually save money by sending it to Ukraine. The issue is is that, by law, these items have a dollar value that inflates the overall amount of support that has been given.

    Sam G (8d2ed1)

  18. @ Sam G (8d2ed1) — 9/21/2023 @ 1:18 pm

    Clearly that is in dispute.
    Are you arguing that we are sending stuff that doesn’t work? Or do we need to spend more money on “shiny new stuff” just because? While ignoring our security needs and taking acre of our existing veterans’.

    Joe (141406)

  19. @ Joe (141406) — 9/21/2023 @ 3:04 pm

    M113 APCs are no longer in use: they have been replaced by newer vehicles, and are currently waiting to be scrapped – which costs money for storage and the actual scrapping of the vehicle. But – if we send it to Ukraine, it’s suddenly worth $300k on paper.

    This goes for a great deal of the equipment we have sent, like GMLRS or ATACMS rockets that have reached expiration and need refurbishment: it’ll cost money to make those useable or scrap them (as applicable), or we can send those to Ukraine for them to use – which is just cost to transport.

    Sam G (8d2ed1)

  20. @ Sam G (8d2ed1) — 9/21/2023 @ 3:19 pm

    Ok, i concede thats a better answers that i was expecting.

    Joe (141406)

  21. Albanian PM at UN badly outclasses Russian permanent security council member

    steveg (cf2aaf)

  22. No one even knows what “winning” this thing even means.

    No one indeed knows.

    It can’t be Ukrainian tanks in Red Square.

    It might be the beginning of a collapse of the Russian army with Putin calling a halt to prevent worse..

    The war can’t end with Ukraine losing because of the domino theory.
    Russia is not ready for a ceasefire.

    They just got Poland to cut off the supply of arms.

    Poland’s prime minister said his country is no longer sending arms to Ukraine, a comment that appeared aimed at pressuring Kyiv and put Poland’s status as a major source of military equipment in doubt as a trade dispute between the neighboring states escalates. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview late Wednesday that Poland is not shipping weapons to Ukraine. His populist party faces pressure from a far-right party in a national election on Oct. 15. The far-right party, Confederation, says Poland is not getting the gratitude it deserves for arming Ukraine and accepting its refugees, the AP reports.

    Russia now supports far right parties.

    Putin hasn’t given up on the far left either.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  23. Putin also got Trump to cut off military aid for 55 days in 2019. To do that he had supply lies to Giuliani. (one of the lies involved exploiting a tall tale told by Joe Biden himself, which may yet blow him out of the water.

    Although that lie wasn’t connected with the arms cutoff.

    But Putin wasn’t working on any other Republicans or Democrats so it all came to nothing. Except an impeachment.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  24. Why is it Zelenskyy is the guy who has to compromise, but not Putin?

    Because the good guys have some influence over Zelensky but not Putin.

    Of course the peace deal is imaginary, just as it is with Israel.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  25. eddie (8fc65a) — 9/21/2023 @ 11:13 am

    The status quo is futile.

    Ukraine losing is worse. Even if it is not World War III.

    A ceasefire in place is not an option. If it becomes so, something much better must also be possible.

    Ukraine winning does not look easy.

    Continuing on will only spend tens of billions of dollars more and, more importantly, kill tens of thousands more people.

    And what will not continuing on, do?

    The only alternative is ignoring what Putin hints about escalation and assuming that if Ukrainian tanks stay as far away from Moscow as Yevgeny Prigozhin did, it will not result in World War III.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  26. nk (bb1548) — 9/21/2023 @ 8:33 am

    They also like “proxy war”, and “civil war” is de rigueur among the vestigial paleo-Soviets.

    Don’t forget [name your country] first. And the cost. The cost. They can’t say lives but they can say money. And find some imaginary deal that’s not on the table that Ukraine is not ready to agree to. If Ukraine were to say it is, that would reduce or eliminate the downside for Russia to continue with this war.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  27. AJ_Liberty (8cde10) — 9/21/2023 @ 3:34 am

    I think we have to continue to let Ukraine fight…while also putting as much economic pressure on Russia as possible.

    You want to put as much economic pressure on Russia as possible?

    Just do to Russia what you would do if they were counterfeiting U.S. currency. They’re not doing that, are they? And its not because of scruples.

    At least so long as they violate the rules of war.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. Zelensky needs to compromise with Poland on grain export and that is something for UK and USA to facilitate.

    Poland has been supportive of Ukraine for decades, but lately they’ve been squabbling over who did what to whom in WWII

    From Wikipedia

    “Different interpretations of bitter events regarding Poles and Ukrainians during World War II have led to a sharp deterioration of the relations between the nations since 2015.
    Historical issues regarding the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and their massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia remain a contested topic. Ukrainian memory laws (the Ukrainian decommunization laws) passed in 2015, honoring UPA, related organizations and its members, were criticized in Poland. In turn, in July 2016, the Polish Sejm passed a resolution, authored by the Law and Justice party, making July 11 a National Day of Remembrance of Victims of Genocide, noting that over 100,000 Polish citizens were massacred during a coordinated attack by the UPA.[14] Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko voiced regrets on the decision, arguing that it can lead to “political speculation”. In response, Ukrainian MP Oleksii Musii drafted a resolution declaring March 24 “Memorial Day of the Victims of Polish state genocide against Ukrainians in 1919–1951”. The Marshal of the Polish Senate Stanislaw Karczewski condemned the motion.
    In 2016, a special screening of the Polish film Volhynia by the Polish Institute in Kyiv for Ukrainian MPs was postponed due to concerns that it may disrupt public order, on recommendations from the Ukrainian foreign ministry.
    In April 2017 the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance forbade the exhumation of Polish victims of the 1943 massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia as part of the broader action of halting the legalization of Polish memorial sites in Ukraine, in a retaliation for the dismantling of a monument to UPA soldiers in Hruszowice, Poland.
    Polish President Andrzej Duda expressed his concerns with appointment to high Ukrainian offices of people expressing nationalistic anti-Polish views. The Ukrainian foreign ministry stated that there is no general anti-Polish sentiment in Ukraine.
    In 2018, novelized Article 2a of the Polish Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, which from then on discusses the “crimes of Ukrainian nationalists and members of Ukrainian organizations collaborating with the Third German Reich”, again caused criticism from the Ukrainian side. In Ukraine, the Amendment has been called “the Anti-Banderovite Law”.
    In August 2019, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised to lift the moratorium on exhuming Polish mass graves in Ukraine after the previous Ukrainian government banned the Polish side from carrying out any exhumations of Polish victims of the UPA-perpetrated Volhynian massacres.

    steveg (cf2aaf)

  29. I’d call the grain issue between Poland-Ukraine a spat, steve. I think they’ll work it out because they have a solid relationship. Ukraine really owes Poland for their taking in refugees and supplying arms.

    Sammy, I think Zelenskyy spelled out victory as reclaiming every bit of conquered territory. I won’t lay odds about whether it’ll happen.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  30. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 9/21/2023 @ 5:35 pm

    Sammy, I think Zelenskyy spelled out victory as reclaiming every bit of conquered territory.

    That’s victory only if Russia stops fighting and launching missiles when that happens.

    I think the premise of the question is that Russia might call for a ceasefire before they lose every inch of pre-2014 Ukraine. No actual sign of that yet. What Zelenskyy was saying was that Ukraine intends to fight until that point and isn’t looking for a ceasefire until then.

    Others say that aUkraine should be satisfied with the lines of the morning of February 24, 2022, and that it would be easier for Putin to agree to that,

    One counter argument is that agreements with Putin are worthless. I suppose a question could be what would be enough for Russia to give up for years at least. Maybe that’s less for Ukraine than the borders of 2014 – or maybe it’s more – or maybe it depends on the speed and the nature of the Russian collapse,

    Sammy Finkelman (0f0f32)

  31. Poland to stop aid to ukraine.

    asset (132b9b)

  32. I’m not greedy, Sammy. If Putin is left with a slice of non-coastal Donbas, I’ll call that a victory for Ukraine, and that maybe that would be a good time for an armistice, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

    Before Putin escalated in 2022, he occupied around 7% of the country. At his most, he occupied 27% and now it’s down to less than 17%.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  33. Sammy Finkleman,

    As I asked in the post, what indications have you had from Putin that he is trustworthy and to be believed (with any sort of ceasefire or peace agreement)?

    Dana (932d71)

  34. asset

    I think that anyone running for office in Poland needs to hedge a bit around election time (same as in the USA) and I also think that the Polish PM is trying to get the US to release weapons that can move Ukraine from treading water/risk of drowning to victory

    steveg (09e7d7)

  35. Putin praises kevin mccarthy for zelensky snub. MTG & Boebert have replaced jane fonda on the anti-aircraft gun!

    asset (f7aa42)

  36. As I asked in the post, what indications have you had from Putin that he is trustworthy and to be believed (with any sort of ceasefire or peace agreement)?

    Dana (932d71) — 9/21/2023 @ 6:51 pm

    None, Just the opposite, That doesn’t men that the war can’t come to an effective end without Ukrainian tanks rolling into Red Square or the overthrow of Putin. But the impetus to ask for a ceasefire has to genuinely come from Putin.

    And even then, it has to be driven out of fear, one which doesn’t go away, and in the short term you could expect to know it would continue by his planning (like nodraft calls) Putin planned this war for half a year (from the Afghanistan withdrawal)

    What makes this day go further away is any sign to Putin that his

    propaganda is working or could work to cause Ukraine’s backers to withdraw their support.

    What might be necessary to make this come would be fear of losing Russian territory – here is where Crimea comes in because while it is internationally recognized Ukrainian territory Putin probably considers it really Russia because it was Khrushchev in 1954 who transferred it to Ukraine, which in 1991 caused an important naval base to be in another country.

    So even those opposed to invading Russia are quite happy with Ukrainian plans to retake Crimea. There might be a difference of opinion if Russia wanted to call a halt to this war after Ukraine has taken half or two thirds of Crimea but there isn’t now between the Biden Administration and the Ukrainian government.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f0f32)

  37. Nice hit on Putin’s Black Sea Fleet HQ.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  38. And ATACMS to be sent “soon”.

    Sam G (8d2ed1)

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