The journalist, former great reporter and former member of the CSA, wonders about the arrival – soon – of a ceasefire in Ukraine.
Unless you are in the secret of the gods and in Putin’s head, who knows when the time for a ceasefire will come? Emmanuel Macron openly said what other leaders do not hide either: the horizon is gloomy, peace is not in the sights of the Kremlin. Bombs and Russian artillery will continue to pound towns, ports, the whole of Ukraine, including symbolic places like the Mariupol maternity hospital.
However, the French President continues to discuss with his counterpart in Moscow, a little like the psychologists who converse with a maniac so that he stops killing his hostages. Maintaining this contact is crucial. Despite all the disgust, the contempt, the desire to take revenge on the bloodthirsty man, we must allow for the possibility of a way out. In our own interest, that of all civilians across the continent.
One way or another, our lives have been thrown into the unknown since the morning of February 24th. Not pushing a enrage into a corner is a rule of thumb when he’s still able to press a button. Like most great dictators who lose face, the warlord might have a scorched earth temptation. In this case, nuclear fire is too great a risk. A real danger.
Faced with a hostage taker, as with a head of state who has decided to crush his neighbour, the question is to know how far each can use the weapon of bluffing. However, in the tragedy before our eyes, the aggressor shows every night, every day, that he goes to the end of his logic. He’s not bluffing. In response, the European Union, united and powerful as ever, opposes sanctions: the Europeans, too, are not bluffing.
Too early for a de-escalation
How long will the firmness hold? Obviously this question may seem quite indecent given the monumental courage of Ukrainian civilians, soldiers and politicians. Volodymyr Zelensky set the bar for moral strength very high. This allows him to be lucid without being suspected of weakness. Yet he precisely keeps the coolness necessary to show signs of appeasement.
If he put his battered country’s candidacy for entry into the EU, Zelensky leaves NATO membership in the distance. Same desire for conciliation concerning the separatist zones of the famous region of Donbass by evoking the idea of special status. By his suggested concessions, the Ukrainian President is leaving an emergency exit door for Russia. It is still too early for the hope of a de-escalation to be announced.
But now, the Russians who see their young conscripts go into coffins can no longer look away. They learn that in Ukraine, it’s war, not a “special operation” this zero canard of Putin. He was wrong, his army failed to achieve a lightning victory. He had probably thought that by crushing and terrorizing the population, they would demand surrender.
Morally, mediatically, politically Ukraine has won the battle of hearts. Even a dictator like the former head of the KGB in Dresden cannot reasonably ignore it.