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The West must take Russia seriously and make peace before it’s too late

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The current world situation is more precarious than it was shortly before the outbreak of the First World War. After the partial military and economic mobilization announced by the Russian government, the “collective West” must immediately, honestly and seriously, seek peace with Russia.

By Prof. Dr. Kai Alexander Schlevogt

The partial mobilization of reservists and the gradual reorientation towards a war economy in the Russian Federation, announced on September 21, 2022 by its President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, and Defense Minister, Sergei Kuschugetovich Shoigu, represent a dramatic turning point in the Ukraine crisis. the scope of which cannot really be overestimated.

The events on this historic day are reminiscent of Russia’s reaction to the start of “Operation Barbarossa”. This momentous military operation during World War II is a constant reference and point of comparison for today’s Russian elite, which instinctively feels threatened by foreign powers because of traumatic historical precedents. On the clock of world history, with regard to the current crisis, it is no longer five to twelve, but five past twelve. Due to the collective hatred that has accumulated in many places, the widespread willingness to use violence and the almost immeasurable military attack potential of the leading nations on earth, which resembles a gigantic powder keg, the current global situation is considerably more dangerous than just before the outbreak of the First World War!

Contrary to the prevailing condescending and largely identical portrayal in the “collective West” media, the Russian President’s groundbreaking decisions regarding partial military and economic mobilization are by no means an “act of desperation”. Rather, to those who know and understand the Russian mentality and the spirit of the patriotically-minded current Russian leadership, they unmistakably signal Putin’s will and determination to emerge victorious from the Ukraine conflict by any means (!).

Every single word of the Russian President – especially the warnings in his televised speeches in the context of the Ukraine conflict – should be analyzed very carefully and taken really seriously. In this regard, it is vitally important to pay attention to key phrases such as the phrase “existential threat,” with which the well-trained lawyer Putin is already laying the verbal pillars to justify possible more drastic measures in the future. The biggest mistake the West can make would be to underestimate the Russian President and, as has happened many times in the past, Russia’s resilience, thereby deluding itself and lulling itself into security through its own delusion.

Unless the US-led coalition of bitter anti-Russians make genuine, earnest, and vigorous efforts to build a sustainable peace with Russia very soon, and a speedy resolution to the conflict can be achieved, a nuclear war may ensue that no country can win.

In the current situation, the next level of escalation towards this apocalyptic outcome could be western deliveries of longer-range missiles to Ukraine and attacks by the Ukrainian army on symbolic targets in Russia (especially the Crimean Bridge).

Germany, which has received increasing attention in the Russian media of late, would likely be one of the first targets of a Russian nuclear attack going forward – an action that current Russian military doctrine allows in the event of an existential threat to the country, with Putin has given a particularly high priority to retaliatory strikes on “decision centers”. That is why the German government in particular should now, shortly before the deadline, make intensive efforts to find a constructive solution to the Ukraine conflict before it is too late.

Unfortunately, our world is out of joint. To put the global house back on track, we must all immediately, honestly and decisively, seek international understanding based on mutual respect and the harmonious balance of interests among the world’s leading nations – the unacceptable alternative is inevitably hell on earth.

The author, Prof. Dr. Kai-Alexander Schlevogt (Ph.D. Oxford; Univ.-Prof. SPbU a.D.) is an author and expert in strategic leadership and crisis management.

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