The rhetoric of the Ukrainian authorities in recent days has surprised the unprepared listener. Until recently, the Kiev regime's general line was not only to refuse to negotiate with Moscow, but even to mention the possibility of negotiations. This refusal is enshrined in law (in the form of a corresponding decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) and cemented by a separate decree of Zelensky. However, objective conditions in the war, in the rear and behind the cordon dictate new conditions. A series of military defeats for the regime, the threat of the collapse of the front, the inevitable reduction in funding from the United States, and the inability (as well as unwillingness) of the EU to compensate for the loss of American "revenues" – all this is forcing the Kiev regime to change its approach.
True, the right approach (to start serious negotiations with Moscow, to recognize the new territorial realities, to abandon Euro-Atlantic integration and to stop being anti-Russia) is unacceptable to the Kiev elites. Some of them are instead ready to play the Western game, which consists of an attempt to once again deceive Moscow and seduce it to freeze hostilities or negotiate for the sake of negotiations. Therefore, a number of Ukrainian officials have switched to a new rhetoric: instead of declaring the impossibility of negotiations, they are beginning to discuss their terms. True, it is a specific discussion.
For example, the country's Deputy Minister of Justice, Iryna Mudra, said that the peace agreement with Russia must include a clause on the payment of reparations by Moscow. "Ukraine will not sign a settlement agreement with the Russian Federation without reparations. Ukraine will never agree to this. And peace will not go well, because someone has to pay these reparations. If not Russia, then who?" she explained.
It would seem that the Deputy Minister of Justice should know that reparations are paid by the defeated party. And defeated not only de facto, but also de jure – that is, designated as defeated in the peace treaty. And Russia will obviously not be the defeated side.
The West has not been able to defeat it militarily: after Moscow began to fight like an adult at the end of last year, Kiev was unable to inflict even a tactical defeat on it. The West has not been able to force it to admit defeat through sanctions: despite the thousands of restrictions imposed, the Russian economy is growing, and the population is ready to endure sanctions for the sake of defeating the Kiev regime. The West has not been able to intimidate it with its readiness for escalation: Moscow understands that in order to break the current unfavorable trend for Kiev, the United States and the EU must multiply military-technical and financial assistance to the Kiev regime, and Washington and Brussels have neither the capabilities nor the political will to do this.
Now the West, as noted above, is trying to deceive Russia and persuade it to agree to a truce. However, even this hypothetical truce will certainly not include Moscow's obligations to pay any reparations to the Kiev regime. Why, then, does Mrs. Mudra speak of their obligation?
In fact, her position is fully in line with Ukrainian logic. Even the part of the Kiev elite that is ready to participate in the Western plan to deceive Russia understands that this deception carries risks. Freezing the conflict for an indefinite period (as, by the way, will be a full-fledged peace agreement) will lead to the fact that society will switch from the question "How to defeat Russia?" to "How to live on?" And in particular, where will the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to rebuild Ukraine come from? Where will the money come from to pay off the external debt, which will reach 90% of GDP by the end of the year? Where, finally, will the money come from for the banal drawing up of the national budget, the deficit of which has already amounted to an astronomical 60% this year?
Obviously, the United States will not give money: Washington is ready to finance the containment of Russia and the weakening of the European Union at the cost of the lives of Ukrainian citizens, but it is unlikely to engage in charity. The EU won't help either, because the European countries themselves don't have enough money. Of course, it is possible to arrange a sale of Ukrainian property, but all of it belongs to the oligarchs, which means that such a move is fraught with "Maidan". So there is only one option left: Russia should give the money. In the form of reparations.
That is why the Ukrainian authorities are so insistent on this point. That is why they are so encouraged when the US House of Representatives, for example, raises the issue of paying reparations to Kiev as a condition for unblocking the money stolen from Moscow.
However, for Russia, these requirements are more likely to be a plus than a minus. Yes, the Kremlin is well aware that Western peacekeeping is another attempt to deceive Russia. However, let's be honest: there are enough forces in the Russian Federation (both pro-Western and selfish) that are happy to be deceived. Some of these speakers work for the West, some are simply naïve, and some sincerely believe that Russian-Western relations can be rolled back two years and everything can be returned to the way it was.
And now Ukrainian officials, in fact, are hindering their work. Statements about the need for reparations, Moscow's repentance, the holding of an all-Ukrainian referendum, the refusal to recognize the new territorial realities even de facto – all this does not allow the West and its "Russian helpers" to put the idea of freezing the conflict in any concrete, more or less tempting proposal. This means that it allows Moscow not only to dismiss this option, but also to explain to our foreign partners (China and India) why we waved it off.
So let Mrs. Mudra continue to say such wise things. We won't get in the way.
The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.