A leftist divorce

On February 26th, 2023, Labour MP John McDonnell addressed rumours that there was a split within the left after a difference of opinion between himself and former Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn on whether Ukraine should be armed to fight back against the russian invasion.

McDonnell denied this, claiming “an honest difference of opinion”. And what a difference; either provide firepower to a population facing a fascist invasion or choose neutrality and encourage the invaded country to accept annexation, deportation and genocide.

A breeding ground for division in the left is foreign policy. Most notably since the formation of the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) in 2001, individuals on the far-left have used the platform to voice their disagreement with what they view as the greatest evil on this earth; “Western (American) imperialism”.

There is, however, a problem; you cannot reach a peaceful settlement with an oppressor that refuses to recognise the basic human rights of the oppressed, something STWC ignores. This was the case in 2015, when Tariq Ali called for Western forces to “stand side-by-side with Assad and the russians”, despite Assad having used chemical weapons on his own people and russia by that point having carried out crimes against humanity in Chechnya, invaded Georgia and Moldova, and annexed Crimea.

There have always been, however, those on the left that are willing to put ideology to one side to fight the common enemy: totalitarianism. Whether the International Brigade that supported the Popular Front against Franco (before Stalin decided to torture and kill those that dared to believe in anything other than Stalinism) or social democrats across Europe working with neoconservatives and liberals in supporting NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, there have been those on the left that support fighting against tyranny.

In recent times, we’ve seen new coalitions arise across the moderate and further left, ranging from centrists to Trotskyists united in their opposition of russian fascism. While not all support NATO, there are shared values that bring this coalition together: self-determination, support for democracy and opposition to totalitarianism. This has led to relatively liberal media outlets such as Byline Times, The Guardian and The Independent stand alongside the Third Camp Marxist media outlet Workers’ Liberty in their condemnation of far-left and far-right media outlets appeasing russia.

MPs often viewed as begrudged bed fellows like McDonnell and Blairite grandee Ben Bradshaw singing from the same hymn sheet on intervention, and Clive Lewis of the Socialist Campaign Group, a parliamentary group known for its opposition to military intervention, put forward an Early Day Motion calling on the UK Government to INCREASE military support for Ukraine.

It’s clear that, whether on economic, social, or military issues, there is huge division amongst the left. While one side chooses to compromise and unite in the face of totalitarianism, the other side chooses ideological purity. While one side opposes ALL imperialism, the other turns a blind eye to crimes against humanity carried out by enemies of democracy. While one side stands with Ukraine, the other sides with russia. The left has tried to make this unholy alliance work for too long.

There is no reconciliation between the democratic left and totalitarian left.

The only option left is to separate.

Note: The Ukrainian government has asked for all mention of “russia”, “russian” and “russian federation” to be written without the capitals, as in literature they are usually used to denote importance or respect, neither of which russia deserves at the moment.

* Jack Meredith is a Welsh Liberal Democrat member.

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42 Comments

  • Mel Borthwaite 14th Jul '23 - 10:50am

    I’m afraid I disagree with the simplistic analysis in this article. The reality is far more complex and it is possible for people of goodwill and decent motives to come to different conclusions. For example, some of those opposing the massive supply of weapons and munitions to Ukraine take the view that far from helping Ukraine, this ‘help’ will actually result in Ukraine losing more territory, and suffering greater deaths and destruction, than if it been encourage to negotiate a settlement rather than fight to the bitter end.

  • A good article but I am wary of making too much of a distinction between nice & nasty Communists. By all means lets make temporary alliances with all sorts of people on particular issues but not if we forget who they are.
    One of the things I admire about Starmer is his determination to squeeze The Leninist “Left” out of The Labour Party – they have no place in a mainstream Democratic Party.

  • David Robert Warren 14th Jul '23 - 11:17am

    I agree Paul.

    However Starmer seems to have missed arguably the most dangerous Trotskyists embedded in his party, the former British section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth Internal the Socialist League more commonly known as Socialist Action the newspaper they used to publish.

  • Mel, exactly the same arguments were used by appeasers of the Nazis in the 30s.

    Good article, Jack.

  • Tristan Ward 14th Jul '23 - 12:50pm

    It’s right to call out those who are not doing their bit to resist Putin. Sometimes fighting is necessary.

    Totolitarians have come from the right and left of politics, so expecting the “left” always to oppose tolitarianism is a bit niave. For example the Labour Party always had an honourable record in opposing Hitler, but was a bit dodger when it came to Lenin and Stalin.

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '23 - 12:51pm

    @ Jack Meredith

    Go back more than 20 years to when the British establishment united to back Putin as Boris Yeltsin’s replacement. Putin, who was a prime minister in 1999, won his first presidential elections in 2000.

    This was at the height of the second Chechen war (1999-2009), the most savage conflict yet of the 21stcentury, and marked by terrible Russian war crimes far worse than have see been committed in Ukraine. And then – as now – masterminded by Putin.
    Yet, Tony Blair backed him all the way, praising his “focused view of what he wants to achieve in Russia”. This was in March 2000, a few weeks after the Battle of Grozny, a brutal battle in which thousands of civilians died.

    A few weeks later, Blair was wining and dining Putin on his visit to Britain with a meeting with the Queen thrown to emphasise the full approval of the establishment!

    Guess who was one of the few voices to sound any opposition?

    There has always been a pacifist tradition on the Labour left going back to WW1 which I don’t personally fully agree with but I’m not sure I totally disagree with either. It probably stems more from a religious, in the broadest sense of the term, objection rather than a political objection. George Lansbury, supported by many in the PLP, adopted a position of Christian pacifism, unilateral disarmament and the dismantling of the British Empire.

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '23 - 12:53pm

    /cont

    You can guess what prominent Liberals of the time would have been saying about that!

    If you’re going to have a go at those who oppose violent conflict don’t forget and leave out anyone who takes the same line. Groups like the Quakers for example.

    @ Paul Barker,

    One of the most prominent Labour members to be expelled in the Film Director Ken Loach. Are you saying he’s on the Leninist left? Others have been expelled for simply associating with him or tweeting some form of approval.

  • Stephen Nicassi 14th Jul '23 - 1:42pm

    I agree with all of this. Organised political movements should really have no difficulty with demanding political positions on a few key issues and enforcing that firmly. This has been a problem on the left for a very long time.

    I would add though that for this process to be undertaken, it requires a dissection of a lot of the ridiculous worldviews that lead to ordinary people being duped into supporting such odious positions. If you go online and into leftist spaces, most of them are dominated by extremely simple caricatures of complex situations. Mostly I’m talking about so called ‘anti-imperialism’, but this outlook really just repackages a lot of the old pacifist talking points. Orwell wrote about the latter in his essay ‘Notes on Nationalism’. A similar effort against ‘anti-imperialism’, isolationism, campism… today would be a very good effort.

  • John McDonnell has spelled out his views in an article for the Labour Hub The Ukrainian Question for Socialists

    “…What I have found depressing at times has been the tendency amongst some armchair strategists in the UK to ignore the voices of Ukrainians, especially Ukrainian voices from our own socialist and trade union movement…
    All so firmly want peace, but they do not believe peace can be achieved until the invasion of their country is prevented. All wanted a Ukraine that was a reunited country based upon respect for the languages and cultures of all its citizens. They reject what they describe as the imperialism of East or West. All that I heard from them was a basic argument for self-determination, and for Ukrainians to be allowed to decide their own future”.
    “…they had a simple plea, that is to be given the weapons to fend off the next wave of attack from Russia with its missiles and mass land army.
    For them this is a defensive war that if successful could force a negotiated settlement.
    They see no other way of achieving the political space for an agreement.
    They want to return in that peace to ridding their country of the oligarchs that have profiteered from the exploitation of the workers and natural resources of their home.
    Thy aim to put socialism on the agenda of Ukraine. There is nothing they said that I could disagree with. That is why I have supported the provision of arms to Ukrainians to maintain their defence of their country.”

  • Jenny Barnes 14th Jul '23 - 3:17pm

    Ken Loach was expelled for no given reason, contrary, I believe, to Labour’s espoused procedures; similarly Jamie Driscoll deselected as a candidated for sharing a platform with Ken. In both cases the alleged underlying reason was anti-semitism, but apparently this reasoning was not communicated or evidenced. More likely, as suggested above, SKS and the right wing of the Labour party want to ensure the left never again come anywhere near control of the party. My theory, FWIW, is that SKS and his advisers want Labour to occupy the political space the Tories once did before the headbangers and Berexiteers took over the party. The remaining “Tories” would form a frothing right wing fringe party, and Left opposition would take a considerable time to build critical mass under FPTP.

  • Stephen Nicassi references Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism Essential reading for anyone of the opinion that Fake News or the post-truth society is a 21st Century phenomenon.

  • Tristan Ward 14th Jul '23 - 6:00pm

    @Joe Bourke

    What an interesting essay and typical Orwell. I hadn’t come across this one before, so thank you for that.

    Orwell goes to great pains to say that “nationalism” is not about countries, but about power. In fact a better names ia needed for what he describes. Since Orwell says:

    “The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality”

    we could call what Orwell describes as “anti-liberalism” or “groupism”

  • Mel Borthwaite 14th Jul '23 - 6:14pm

    @Tristan Ward
    Could what Orwell described be summarised as ‘identity politics’? I ask as identity politics appears to see people not as individuals but as members of particular groups, be that groups based on race, sex, sexual orientation or an other factor. Liberalism, in my view, always sees people as individuals and treats people as individuals.

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '23 - 6:29pm

    @ Stephen Nicassi,

    ” Organised political movements should really have no difficulty with demanding political positions on a few key issues and enforcing that firmly. ”

    So presumably you’d be in favour of expelling anyone from the LibDems who declared themselves to be a pacifist?

    @ Jack Meredith,

    “There is no reconciliation between the democratic left and totalitarian left. The only option left is to separate.”

    Thanks, but no thanks, for your advice! There is already a separation in process but it is not quite as you suggest. Jenny is spot-on with her “… theory, FWIW,… that SKS and his advisers want Labour to occupy the political space the Tories once did”. It might be what they want but it’s not what the members want. Neither is it what the Labour Party was founded to be. Anyone who openly speaks out against this is shown the door.

    We’ve seen the not-so-democratic right gain control of the Labour Party by simply presenting a false prospectus to secure the support of the democratic left but then kicking them out afterwards. Many of us, (but not me 🙂 ) were gullible enough to believe it.

  • Martin Gray 14th Jul '23 - 7:26pm

    As regards Syria – Assad has significant support across the country …A country with many Christians & some Jewish citizens who can practice their faith . Not to mention Syrian women who can study whatever they want – some of whom enlisted in the Syrian Arab Army ….Whatever we may think of the Baathist regime – the opposition was & is too awful to contemplate..

  • Martin Gray 14th Jul '23 - 7:44pm

    “One of the things I admire about Starmer is his determination to squeeze The Leninist “Left” out of The Labour Party – they have no place in a mainstream Democratic Party”
    Millions voted for Corbyn in 17/19 GE, figures we could only dream about .. Labour lost 60 seats in 2019 – 52 leave seats . They lost where it mattered most…
    Corbyn – right on Iraq , right on Afghanistan, right on Libya – something the establishment will never forgive ..
    While those that are responsible for the devastation they’ve caused – are lauded around the globe as international statesman..Corbyn gave many people hope – as those mainstream democratic parties as you say, have failed to deliver real change for those who’s lives are a perpetual struggle …

  • George Thomas 14th Jul '23 - 10:58pm

    I don’t believe ‘Stop the War’ only oppose “Western Imperialism” (though obviously that’s what they would speak about most seeing as it’s the subject closest to home) and are, largely, genuinely anti-war.

    Do you realise how horrible war is? I’m not sure I do but everything I’ve learnt about it screams that it’s just about the worst thing one can go through. Accepting actions of Putin and his inner circle, achieving peace through capitulation, is worse but lets not pretend that war is anything but awful.

    Still, the idea that the Lib Dems are going to join in Starmer’s Labour by looking at the Tories and say that politics can’t be anything different to that is genuinely depressing. It’s giving “Please Murdoch, is there room for one more?”

  • Zachary Adam Barker 15th Jul '23 - 1:44am

    -“For example, some of those opposing the massive supply of weapons and munitions to Ukraine take the view that far from helping Ukraine, this ‘help’ will actually result in Ukraine losing more territory, and suffering greater deaths and destruction, than if it been encourage to negotiate a settlement rather than fight to the bitter end.”

    Not arming Ukraine led to territory loss. That is what led to the Donbass and Crimea being occupied by the Russians in the first place.

    It should be up to the Ukrainians how long they fight for their country. Not our lofty sensibilities of whether it is right that they fight for their own homes. By rights they should be able to fight as long as they are able. If the Russians gain territory they can look forward to a protracted insurgency when trying to hold it.

  • Peter Martin 15th Jul '23 - 9:18am

    The next election isn’t quite a done and dusted as is popularly supposed. Jack Meredith is right in his suggestion of a split. However, the Corbyn and McDonnell will end up on the same side of it irrespective of any differences of opinion on Ukraine.

    The is a left wing insurgency in the making which the Lib Dems no doubt will call populist. There is a general feeling, although many are getting somewhat impatient, that there is a need to wait for Corbyn to formally announce his intention to fight the next election as an independent. If so then we can expect a whole raft of ‘socialist independents’ or as members of a new socialist party to stand in other constituencies in his support.

    Maybe some in places like Liverpool will actually win. Most won’t but could take away enough votes from the official Labour candidates to make a difference in the outcome.

  • It’s easy to forget why ‘Stop the War’ started in the first instance. The impending invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taliban which had come from a direct interference in the Russia invasion of the same country in 1979, where the US trained and armed warlords and their men. The 2001 invasion was essentially a move to correct an error created by the US and later exploited by their neighbour – a US ally – as a period of unrest occurred across the Islamic sphere of influence. It was planned before the twin towers attack.
    Subsequently, the STW coalition was strengthened by Blair & Bush’s blatant attempt to create a foothold of influence in Iraq. An illegal war based on lies.
    Roll forward 10 years and again the West is fighting a series of proxy wars across the ME, in some cases arming the fundamentalists in the ME while turning a blind eye to atrocities committed by allies and then calling the bluff of a militaristic lunatic who then calls their bluff in return.
    The war in Ukraine and the aftermath was let slip by Ben Wallace’s recent ‘gratitude’ comment. It’s likely that Ukraine will have to be in hock to the West for £billions in debt and contracts as a result of the largesse.

  • Cont/d…
    That is not a comment on whether we should or should not assist Ukraine, but simply understand why we are where we are and where it is likely to go from here.
    Interestingly in the commentary above, the focus is on the left, but let me draw attention to the Liberal Democrat position on this. Many young Liberal Democrats think the U.K. should put troops on the ground. An illegal act under international law. Some went as far as suggesting we do as Putin has done and put nuclear weapons into the frame of reference, effectively ending the U.K.’s policy of retaliatory use only – one of Jo Swinson’s errors in trying to be a ‘strong leader’ – and others want the U.K. to effectively supply the full range of military hardware available. None of these is practical as a solution at best and some might point out that we have a liberal right and an illiberal right in the party to match the Labour left split mentioned above.
    In 2001 not all Liberal Democrats were behind the invasion of Afghanistan and some positively opposed it.
    If we expect Labour to expel those opposing war, should the LDs follow suit and make the U.K. a bellicose nation with no non-combative contributions to bring balance?

  • @Andrew: “In 2001 not all Liberal Democrats were behind the invasion of Afghanistan and some positively opposed it.”
    Completely different circumstances to the current war in Ukraine.
    I, for one, actively opposed British involvement in Afghanistan (futile and irrelevant); Iraq (based on a lie and aftermath bound to be a disaster); Libya (went beyond peace-keeping); and Syria (no clear ‘good guys’.
    But I support our active support of Ukraine. This is the invasion of a sovereign country and reducing it to rubble for resisting. Plus Russia is a threat to other European nations if it succeeds.
    I have no wish for the UK to be a ‘bellicose nation’. But sometimes, ‘Stop the War’ is the absolutely the correct stance, and sadly, sometimes a naive one.

  • Martin Gray 15th Jul '23 - 9:17pm

    @Cassie …. Ultimately the Ukraine conflict is a diplomatic failure from the west going back years…
    As I’ve stated previously – NATO membership would be an absolute bitter pill to swallow for any Russian President let alone Putin – can we just imagine if this would be acceptable to the US if the locality and history were reversed . I very much doubt it .
    Ultimately there will need to be a negotiated settlement & in all honesty there are large parts of the Donbass & Crimea that don’t want to be part of Ukraine..
    Something will need to give – unsustainable battlefield attrition rates will probably bring about the start of the peace talks …

  • Tristan Ward 16th Jul '23 - 6:55am

    @Mel Borthwaite

    I think you may be right, and I also think that the tendency of identity politics (of right and left)’s tendency to create “in groups” and “out groups” is despressingly destructive.

  • Martin (Gray),

    You say “in all honesty there are large parts of the Donbass & Crimea that don’t want to be part of Ukraine” and I understand why you say it, but I disagree.

    There are *no* parts of the Donbass & Crimea that don’t want to be part of Ukraine.

    There are *people* living there now who don’t, and people who used to live there who do (and others).

    The key questions are which people have a valid right to determine whether Donbass & Crimea should be part of Ukraine and how do you determine their uncoerced views?

  • Peter Martin 16th Jul '23 - 12:37pm

    ” Could what Orwell described be summarised as ‘identity politics’? ……Liberalism, in my view, always sees people as individuals and treats people as individuals.”

    This sounds very nice and in Lib Dem style, of course. However, is it practical?

    If you want, to give a few examples: to ensure women receive equal pay, or set minimum levels of pay for workers, or ensure that those from ethnic minorities aren’t discriminated against, and neither are those of any particular sexual orientation there will have to be laws passed which define groups of people by their characteristics.

    How else can it be done?

    Incidentally Orwell was a complex character. He is spoken of fondly by many present day centrists and even those further to the right; yet, he fought in Spain with a Marxist/Trotskyist militia – the P.O.U.M or Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, and somewhat more fondly than Marx and Trotsky themselves!

  • Martin Gray Donbas and Crimea have already voted in an internationally recognised referendum to be part of Ukraine. Do not be conned by Russia’s puppet stooges who have never been freely elected.

  • Martin Gray 16th Jul '23 - 6:17pm

    @Tim Rogers…There was a freely elected government in Ukraine up until Feb 2014 .
    It would be foolhardy not to recognise that a significant proportion of Crimeas population would rather be part of the Russian federation…

  • Jack Meredith 16th Jul '23 - 8:58pm

    Hi @Martin Gray. I had to comment to clear something up here. I have been working with people IN Ukraine for the last two years, helping to raise money and send supplies to help them survive the illegal fascist russian invasion. From seeing and hearing what Ukrainians have to say on the matter, I can confirm that Crimean citizens do NOT want to live under russia’s rule. Whenever they speak up, russia has them “disappear”. Please do not share russian propaganda without actually spending time speaking to those impacted.

  • Russia has announced today that they will not be renewing the grain deal that provides for the safe passage of merchant ships carrying grain from Odessa, Yuzhny and Chornomorsk. The deal had been brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
    Ukrainian pilot vessels guided commercial vessels transporting the grain in order to navigate the mined areas around the coastline using a map of safe channels provided by the Ukrainian side.
    The vessels then crossed the Black Sea towards Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait while being closely monitored by a joint coordination centre in Istanbul, containing representatives from the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey.
    The UN says that:
    47% of Ukraine’s grain has gone to “high-income countries” including Spain and Italy
    26% to “upper-middle income countries” such as Turkey and China
    27% to “low and lower-middle income countries” such as Egypt and Sudan
    Mr Putin has criticised Ukraine for not exporting more to developing countries.

    But the UN says the grain deal has benefited people throughout the world because it has brought more food products onto the global market and therefore reduced global prices.

  • Peter Martin 18th Jul '23 - 6:35am

    The news that Jamie Driscoll intends to stand as an Independent candidate in next year’s election for the North Tyne Mayoralty, is further evidence that there is indeed a split developing in the Labour Party.

    Jamie Driscoll is a Democratic Socialist. He isn’t on the “totalitarian left”. The split line is well to the right of where Jack Meredith might like it to be.

  • The purpose of the world order is to prevent armed conflict such as we are witnessing in Ukraine. Our institutions are supposed to allow grievances to be solved without resorting to war. When they fail there is no alternative to showing invading another country will fail. There is a limit however to the number of civilian casualties and the damage to the environment that the global community can stomach and world can tolerate.

  • John Bicknell 18th Jul '23 - 6:57pm

    “There is a limit however to the number of civilian casualties and the damage to the environment that the global community can stomach and world can tolerate.”
    So, you are advocating that the world allows Russian aggression to prevail, as you cannot ‘stomach’ the suffering? Since it is the Ukrainian people who are making that sacrifice, surely it is for them to decide how much they are willing to endure, in order to secure their freedom?

  • Geoffrey. I do not know how old you are but some of us can even recall the Berlin Blockade in 48. Its was dangerous then, even more so with Cuba, Korea, the 24 hours in 1972 when there were real fears of a Russian attack in Germany and other events. The risk has to be run. I was scared stiff in 1962 when we left the office on Friday evening and did not know whether we would be back on Monday morning. I realised then that one has to stand up to aggression otherwise history from the 30’s will repeat.

  • One of my Ukrainian acquaintances has a photography business based in Kyiv. The business is now employed “more than full-time” taking photographs of evidence of Russian atrocities.

    Other acquaintances – mother tongue Russian speakers btw – have lost their homes in the Donbass. And have had relatives and partners killed by Russian forces.

    Shame on the defeatists and appeasers on here.

    If Russia had taken Kyiv on day one and Ukraine had surrendered, Moldova would have been next.

  • I really do get quite annoyed that those of us who want a negotiated settlement to the Russian/Ukraine war are branded as appeasers, willing to sacrifice Ukraine as Chamberlain sacrificed Czechoslovakia. I am certainly not advocating that. Yes, any negotiation requires compromises on both sides, but not I think of land illegally and forcibly taken. Perhaps it might mean delaying NATO or EU membership for a period or committing to remaining nuclear free. Of course Russia will be expected to offer to withdraw from all or most of its illegal land grab. None of us know what the outcome of negotiations might be. We do know that continued fighting will mean further loss of life and possibly, God forbid, nuclear warfare. Putin will almost certainly threaten it of he appears to be losing, though whether his generals would actually obey his orders to use them is open to question.
    As Geoff Payne rightly says, this is a threat to be taken much more seriously than it appears to be being taken right now.
    Given that it seems improbable that Russia can be defeated or that Ukraine is unlikely to surrender, we all know that this conflict will be settled at the negotiating table. The sooner that happens the less people will be slaughtered – on both sides – and the chance of a world damaging nuclear conflict will be greatly reduced.

  • “Russia will be expected to offer to withdraw from all or most of its illegal land grab.”

    Sorry to see the word “most” in there, Mick.

    So you’d be happy with Ukraine only giving up some of its territory to the aggressor, if it ended the war. A solid Russian victory. And an acceptable defeat for Ukraine.

    You surely understand that Russia will be back for more later?

  • I don’t think we can assume that Russia as represented by Putin will be back for more later any more than we can assume the opposite. Putin has found himself in an unexpected situation not just in the course of the war but in his relationship to his own military personnel. While there is a chance that events have brought him as close as he will ever get to a re-assessment of anything, increased volatility is probably on the cards.
    I worry about the UK’s decline of quiet, skilled diplomatic resources of the sort that operate separately from simplistic press releases designed for domestic consumption.

  • The recent Nato summit in Vilnius has made clear that there is no prospect of Ukraine joining Nato anytime soon, just as there was no prospect prior to the Russian invasion.
    For the Ukrainian government and people there is no choice but to defend their lives and property against a genocidal neighbour intent on destroying their culture and way of life.
    The only possible negotiation is a UN plebiscite overseen by independent UN election monitors. The plebiscite could only be applied in Crimea and the Donbas, not the Zaporizhzhia or Kherson oblasts that would have to be vacated by all Russian troops. Eligible voters would have to be those born in Crimea or the Donbas including those now living elsewhere in Ukraine or abroad or long-term residents of these areas displaced by invasion.
    If the vote is to remain within Ukraine, Russian troops would have to be withdrawn within their own borders and evacuate the Naval base at Sevastopol. If Crimea does vote to join the Russian federation agreements on water supply to the region would have to be held.
    Ukraine will need binding security arrangements and reparations after any such agreement is reached and that will very likely require full Nato membership and provision of Russian oil, gas, fertilisers and construction materials and mine-clearing equipment at no charge to Ukraine during a decade long reconstruction period to be effective.

  • Sean Bell, military analyst with Sky News writes on Ukraine war Ukraine winning the war is not impossible – but it’s certainly very, very difficult
    He concludes: “However, Mr Putin will understand that some form of victory will be required to placate his domestic audience and justify the sacrifices made. That is probably why Mr Putin has always referred to the conflict as a special military operation – deliberately ill-defined – so that when he judges the time is right, he can negotiate a peace and declare victory – albeit the world will recognise it will be a pyrrhic victory.”
    The Biden administration is likely to want to avoid getting further entangled in another never ending war. This is particularly the case with President Xi Jinping actively preparing Chinese forces for military conflict to (in his words) rejuvenate the Chinese people.
    WW1 ended with an armistice, but the terms of the central powers surrender were dictated by the entente powers and global conflict resumed in 1939 only terminating with the end of the cold war in 1989.
    The security architecture of Europe and the Indo-Pacific region has to be negotiated and agreed by the UN security council, principally the permanent members. If Russia and China are to align on one side and the US, UK and France on the other, the terms of the post-war International order need to be re-established and adhered to by the nuclear powers.

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