Russia has no other options but to win against the collective West on its own terms By Yelena Panina and Oleg PavlovFILE PHOTO: A Russian Army T-90 M ‘Proryv’ (Breakthrough) tank is seen at a training ground in the course of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, at the unknown location, Russia. © Sputnik / Stanislav Krasilnikov

This article was first published in Russian on

For more than two years, the special military operation has continued in Ukraine. Undoubtedly, this war against Russia was provoked by the “collective West” and globalist circles standing behind it, and is being waged by them through their proxy forces.

The leaders of Western countries and their top ‘think-tanks’ (FA, CSIS) have recently stepped up the rhetoric regarding our country and are obviously set on the military defeat of Russia. NATO participation in combat operations is not only coming into the open but the military escalation is being ramped up by leaps and bounds, i.e. supplies of ever more lethal types of weapons to Ukraine are gaining scale, the US and other countries of the West have decided to shift military activities deeper into the territory of Russia, and active preparations are underway for sending a contingent from NATO and its member states to Ukraine.

Russia has no other alternatives under the circumstances but to either win or die. This is our Patria o Muerte.

The comprehension of what victory is to us should underlie the recognition of this fundamental truth. Making no claims to present a complete clear image of the future victory, we shall try to formulate those major goals without attainment of which the victory is impossible.

First of all, let us ask ourselves how inevitable a special military operation (SMO) was and whether it was possible to somehow come to an agreement with the West.

The scale of the military force deployed against Russia, coordination of actions of almost all countries of the Western bloc, and their political declarations and demarches according to pre-written patterns leave no doubt that an anti-Russia operation had been prepared for many years. By all appearances, it has been financed and administered by Western countries, and primarily the United States, since 2012. In fact, everything that is going on in Ukraine today is the hot phase of the war unleashed by the West against us as far back as 1946 (after Winston Churchill’s Fulton speech). In its first stage, the task was set to destroy the USSR and at the second – to assimilate the Russian Federation and definitively solve the ‘Russian question’.

In practice, immediately after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the USSR, the West, taking it as its absolute victory, got down to the implementation of the second stage and embarked on the exploration of the geopolitical space left by the Soviet Union, seeing it as a resource to expand and enhance its own hegemony that it had already gained at that time. The goal was to bring about such a model of unipolar globalization that would secure the latter as a form of the domination of the West for many decades, if not centuries ahead.

Despite verbal promises not to expand the NATO bloc to the territories of the countries of the former Warsaw Pact given to Mikhail Gorbachev, the United States used NATO as an instrument of expansion to bring the situation to admitting the Baltic States, and later Sweden and traditionally neutral Finland into the bloc. And before that, NATO began to woo Ukraine and Georgia. At the same time, NATO is far from being a harmless organization, as Mikhail Khodorkovsky recently called it. Only think about the large-scale bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 using depleted uranium ammunition, the 20-year war in Afghanistan under the auspices of NATO, the Iraq war of 2003–2011, which was fought even without a UN mandate on the basis of falsification – the “Powell test tube” – the war in Libya in 2011 or the reprisal against its leadership and the actual destruction of the country. In just 30 years, NATO conducted 23 military operations against other countries with over one million civilians becoming victims, while the toll of ethnic cleansing or environmental and humanitarian disasters after invasions by NATO troops is impossible to calculate. White phosphorus, depleted uranium, cluster bombs against civilians, tortures, photo sessions with the bodies of the dead – all these crimes are on NATO’s conscience.


After signing the treaty that gives the full souvereignty back to Germany the politicians pose for a family picture in Moscow, 12 September 1990. © Global Look Press / Roland Holschneider / dpa

In 2004, when Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia joined the alliance, this monster moved nearer to the borders of the Russian Federation. Could Russia indifferently watch NATO missiles in close proximity, aiming at St. Petersburg, Moscow and our other cities? Most certainly not!

Nevertheless, we still hoped to bring some sense into the presumptuous Western elites. Then followed Putin’s Munich speech. But the United States ignored these signals and, through its own military support, provoked a full-scale invasion of Georgian troops into South Ossetia. One of the goals was to create conditions for Georgia to join NATO. Even Russia’s tough response did not stop the West. Washington organized a coup in Kiev in 2014 and started preparing for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. They perfectly realized the consequences and deliberately went for this aggravation.

All these events also cannot be considered outside the context of the US activities on the complete abolition of the international security system and arms control treaties. Over the past three decades, through the efforts of Washington and other Western countries, the entire supporting frame of this structure was destroyed almost to the ground. International legal nuclear deterrence mechanisms in essence ceased to exist.

A united, nationally strong, sovereign Russia with its special civilizational code did not fit at all into the globalist plans of the United States and it openly moved to implement the Brzezinski formula: “A new world order under the US hegemony is being created against Russia, at the expense of Russia and on the ruins of Russia.” Since the West failed to swallow Russia and finally turn it into its spiritual and resource colony – although it would seem that this was at arm’s length, and Putin set a course for its revival – the Anglo-Saxons decided to implement the old plan. It has existed since the Russian Empire emerged on the world stage as a global power at the beginning of the 18th century. The idea is to dismember and destroy the country, as far as it obviously interferes with hegemonic plans.

That is why this war was inevitable, and it was not us who started it. Another question is whether it was possible to start the SMO, since it was inevitable, in some other way, or to wait as in 1941 for a direct attack from Ukraine against us in order to have an indisputable right to self-defence? The counter question would be: “Are you really sure that if we continued to wait for the end of the development of Ukraine by NATO and its attack on us from territories that are thousands of kilometres closer to Moscow than the USSR border before the start of Hitler’s aggression, then we would be able to withstand this blow with modern missile technologies when the flight time from Kharkov to Moscow would be four to five minutes for hypersonic missiles?”

More than two years of the special military operation have convinced us that Russia’s battle for its security and sovereignty will be long and dramatic. All this time, the stated goals of the SMO have remained the same, i.e. to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine, protect the citizens of Donbass and ensure the security of the Russian Federation.

However, life and the course of combat operations made their own adjustments to the implementation of these goals. By April 2024, Russia took control over parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye Oblasts, which, along with the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts, were included in Russia in accordance with its Constitution, and the creation of a safe zone near Belgorod began. As for the achievement of other goals, the parameters of the final settlement that would ultimately ensure the security of the Russian state for the coming decades have not yet been formulated and made public, as well as the way by which this and other goals of the SMO can be accomplished.


Ukrainian soldiers, military in uniform, combat gear, rifles, weapons, on the occasion of celebrations on March 24th, 2023 in Kiev. © Global Look Press / Presidential Office of Ukraine

Some time ago, despite the official belligerent rhetoric, voices started to be heard in the West of those who called for a truce to be declared in Ukraine as soon as possible.

On June 15–16 this year, a ‘peace conference’ took place in Switzerland, where it was proposed to take the ‘Zelensky formula’ as the basis for a peaceful settlement, providing for the return of Ukraine to the 1991 borders. Since Russia had refused to take part in it under any circumstances, and the leading countries of the Global South did not participate in this farce, they tried to reduce the formula to three items. But it does not change the essence. The main idea is to present Russia as a country that does not wish to accept peace talks and then to put forward an ultimatum allegedly on behalf of the ‘international community’.

We also hear soft options: to recognize de facto Russian control over the territories liberated during the SMO and accept the rest of Ukraine into NATO.

It is also clear that the West is actively managing the conflict on the territory of Ukraine. It does not give Kiev the necessary weapons and ammunition and at the same time puts increasing pressure on Russia through strengthening primary and secondary sanctions. Then, by contrast, it ‘throws wood’ onto the fire, as the US Congress did by allocating more than $61 billion to Ukraine.

What is behind all these manipulations, including ‘peace initiatives’? The goal of the West was and is unchanged – the strategic defeat of Russia, final resolution of the ‘Russian question’, and termination of the statehood of the Russian Federation in a much harsher way than it was with the USSR.

Since the ‘Zelensky formula’ is absolutely unacceptable to Russia, they decided to boil the frog slowly: first, to force the parties to agree to an unsatisfactory truce or some kind of a peace, and thereby consolidate preconditions for a new conflict. Here comes all the stuffing about the truce, where the preservation by Russia of the already acquired territories is used as a carrot.

It is easy to predict the way the events will develop in this case. The truce, even without access to the borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts, means that Russia will be cut off from the rest of Europe for a long time, for many decades, by the ‘Pilsudski barrier’; the zone of control of the buffer lands by the Western bloc will stretch from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Russia will lose Kaliningrad, and the Baltic will finally take shape as a ‘NATO lake’. Russia will completely lose control over the Western Black Sea region that has existed historically for centuries (since 1711), Moldova will be absorbed by NATO member Romania, and the Transnistrian region by Ukrainian authorities.

At the same time, the Anglo-Saxons, who have conceptual power in the Western world, build on the views of such geo-politicians of the early twentieth century as Sir Halford Mackinder. According to him, the “pivot area, or heartland of Eurasia – much of Russia and Central Asia – is the key to the global balance of power. The state that gains control over this territory will rule the world.”

To master the ‘heartland’ it is necessary to destroy Russia. That is why after the ‘peace treaty’ imposed on it, ‘plan B’ will come into effect, according to which the West will continue to isolate Russia as if “at the will of the international community” and strangle it with increasingly harsh economic sanctions according to the Iranian model. The ‘Anaconda ring’ around our country will begin to shrink even more intensely due to the dragging of limitrophes into its camp. Primarily, Armenia and Kazakhstan, and then other, still Russia-friendly countries. Sabotage will intensify and shatter internal unity, taking advantage of the undermining of interethnic relations. The aim of these medium-term measures is clear, i.e. in 3-5 years (as luck would have it), using ‘salami-slicing tactics’ – numerous small but painful blows – to prepare a lightning disarming military strike against a country weakened by sanctions. It will possibly include the use of nuclear weapons, using both Ukraine’s membership in NATO by that time and the proximity to our borders of new alliance bases, which will be located in the south (Romania) and in the north (Sweden, Norway and Finland). The signs of this have already emerged from the calls of a number of politicians in Eastern European countries. Primarily, from the statements of Poland’s authorities on the placement of nuclear weapons on the territory of their country. Another “intelligence indicator” is a strike on the Russian early warning system, which will provoke Moscow to use tactical nuclear weapons, thus enabling the West to implement the option of a disarming strike.

If you look from a historical depth at the methods that are now being used by the ‘collective West’ and the Anglo-Saxons leading them, then it is quite obvious that London and Washington, with outwardly different tactics, use familiar and historically proven techniques based on the classic thalassocracy principle of ‘divide and rule’. The first one is a method that has been tested more than once, i.e. blockade and massive sanctions. This is exactly the way the United States acted against Iraq in two or three steps. First, in 1991, Baghdad was weakened by military means through Operation Desert Storm, and later by crushing 13-year sanctions, only to be finally finished off afterwards by a lightning military strike.

The second method is the use of a proxy to inflict unacceptable damage and to radically weaken the enemy. This was the way the Ottoman Empire was destroyed. At that time, in 1916, the role of Ukraine was played by the Arabs, who were armed by the Anglo-Saxons, exactly as today, and their military commanders (in that epoch it was, in particular, Thomas Edward Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia) achieved military successes.

Now Russia, since it is a powerful country with nuclear weapons, is being subjected to an unprecedented and multi-aspect hybrid technology of struggle in all areas, where the methods used against the Ottoman Empire and Iraq in different historical periods are being complemented by the ‘Anaconda Strategy’ – surrounding us with unfriendly regimes in parallel preparation for the ‘big war’. This will inevitably be followed by a new, much more destructive and bloody war, but directly with the entire NATO bloc, forcing Russia to surrender and be destroyed.


Vladimir Zelensky (M), President of Ukraine, is greeted by Ursula von der Leyen (R), President of the European Commission, and other attendees at the start of a meeting on January 16 2024, Davos, Switzerland. © Global Look Press / Hannes P Albert / dpa

These will be the consequences of failing to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation. It goes without saying that any country that finds itself in the situation Russia is in now should do everything to avoid dead isolation and set up coalitions that would allow the legal, psychological, informational and other walls erected by the enemy to be destroyed. This problem is being solved so far with greater or lesser success. They failed to drive Moscow into international isolation and they recognize it in Washington. The Global South did not fall for Western hysterics about ‘Russian aggression in Ukraine’ and the massive Israeli bombing of residential areas in the Gaza Strip, which led to colossal casualties, finally buried the West’s ability to manipulate with theses about ‘Moscow’s cruelty’. These arguments lost their validity for the Arab-Islamic world and Africa.

It has also been a surprise for the organizers of Russia’s isolation that Moscow manages, although not immediately and not without effort, to start building ad-hoc coalitions, albeit of different sizes and weights. Beside Great China, which is becoming a strategic rear area for Moscow, it manages to get on well with restive Türkiye, millennia-old Iran, and principled North Korea, i.e. with those who were called the other day (except for Ankara) rogue states as well as with SCO and BRICS countries.

However, this struggle as a whole makes sense only if the main military tasks are fulfilled during the SMO. That is why it is absolutely important to identify them. We can already feel a breeze of slight disappointment today among our well-wishers in the Islamic world and in Africa because the front line has remained practically the same for over two years. It influences many processes, including the efficiency and scale of BRICS expansion, as well as the readiness of our friends to resist secondary sanctions.

First, it is necessary to determine the boundaries of our territorial advance in the south and north, which will protect our country for a long time from any threats from the West. It is obvious that in the south there are no other alternatives but access to Odessa and further to connect with the Transnistrian region, where 220,000 of our compatriots live, right up to the mouth of the Danube and full control of it. But in this case, the Pilsudski-drawn arc ‘from sea to sea’ will be broken and the prospect of restoring relations with Western Europe, primarily with Germany, within the next 10 to 15 years will remain (in fact, the Anglo-Saxons’ fear of an alliance between resource-rich Russia and high-tech Europe under the leadership of Germany was precisely the cause of many events).

The fate of the western lands of the former Ukrainian SSR, and the Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian territories before World War II is not so clear. The fact is that the redistribution of territories between Ukraine and Russia is actually the review of the badly drawn administrative boundaries inside the USSR, which did not take into account (and it was not needed) language or ethnic factors. That is why their revision does not actually affect the fundamentals of the valid Helsinki Act of 1975 on the inviolability of European borders, while changing the borders of Western Ukraine in favor of third countries requires a global revision of the foundations of the European security system.

Second, regarding the demilitarization of Ukraine within the new borders (without the Donbass, Lugansk, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Nikolaev and Odessa Oblasts and without access to the Black Sea), it is doomed to become a state with a neutral status enshrined in the Constitution. The military industry should be completely abolished; the armed forces should perform only the functions of the police and dealing with emergency situations (natural and man-made disasters).

Third, as for denazification, after the trial of neo-Nazi criminals, Bandera ideology should be completely prohibited and all its followers should be strongly prosecuted. Bilingualism should be introduced in the country with equal use of Russian and Ukrainian languages.

Of course, the outcome of any conflict is a reflection of the balance of power at the time it ends or freezes. At this stage the analysis shows that any truce or ‘freeze’ in Ukraine would be extremely unstable and only benefit the ‘collective West’ without realizing the above components of the picture of victory. They will provide Europe and the United States with the possibility to carry out the rearmament of their armies, preserve the Ukrainian proto-Nazi regime and prepare for a new, large-scale NATO advance on Russia. No change of power in the White House or the hypothetical arrival of Donald Trump to power will alter this scenario.


© Global Look Press / Petrov Sergey / via

Summarizing all of the above, we can draw only one conclusion: Russia has no other options but to achieve victory along the described contours. It may seem impossible now, but we don’t want to die, do we?! Therefore, the half-war must be ended. The slogan “Everything for the front! Everything for Victory!” should become the raison d’être of our entire policy, both foreign and domestic. The victory banner should rise in Kiev – the mother of Russian cities and the sacred center of the Russian world.

Without detailing every tectonic shift that Russia is destined to make, we would like to re-emphasize: there is no other historical choice.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.