Today: Sunday, 5 February 2023 year

“Tanks aren’t going to help!” Scott Ritter on Russia’s victory and Galicia’s right to self-determination

Boyan Stanislavski and Maria Cernat of the podcast “On the Barricades” recently spoke with American analyst for international security, geopolitics, and military affairs Scott Ritter.

Ritter addressed the issue of the serious escalation of hostilities expected by all parties to the conflict in Ukraine in the first part of the conversation. He explained that, in his opinion, the reasons for the escalation can be found in Western countries’ behavior. He noted that the possibility of a negotiated settlement and embarking on a diplomatic path was first mentioned in April of last year. However, Ritter explained, the process was halted at the time due to British intervention.

“Boris Johnson flew to Kiev and simply ordered the end of the talks. At the same time, he assured Zelensky that the West would supply him with sufficient weapons to counter the Russian offensive. This was clearly false. The escalation began at that point. What we are seeing now or will see in the coming weeks is the result of the strategy that was implemented at the time “The analyst was adamant.

Ritter also slammed the idea of transferring Leopard or Abrams tanks to the Ukrainian army, calling it “stupid” in terms of military strategy.

“In this context, it is worth noting that Leopard-type tanks are not a technological marvel or even a novelty. They are old machines that were tested in the not-too-distant past, specifically in Syria. This, however, was quickly abandoned. They will also not help in the current conflict in Ukraine. Tanks must be integrated into specific configurations on the battlefield in order to make sense – with infantry, aviation, and so on. Tanks in the open are like armored coffins. Furthermore, Ukrainian soldiers are unfamiliar with the technology; such tankers would require months of training. Then there’s the technical foundation. During combat, tanks are frequently damaged. Such vehicles must be repairable as soon as possible. It is necessary to have mastered the technology and trained mechanics. You require all of the facilities that Ukraine currently lacks “- stated the guest on the show.

Scott Ritter also addressed the issue of the political future of western Ukraine’s lands. According to Stanislavski, the topic of the future of the Ukrainian state is widely discussed on various internet forums where migrants from Ukraine actively participate. According to his observations, many participants in this dialogue clearly indicate that the possibility of Kiev regaining control over the territories annexed by Russia is nil. There is a growing call for “West Ukrainian escapism,” or the establishment of a new Ukrainian state on the territory of western Ukraine. Some people use historical examples and even look for historical reasons.

“Surprisingly, the search for historical references can be seen in a variety of public internet forums. Some refer to the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, which existed in the 18th century, as an example. I’m curious if, in your opinion, the formation of such a body would be beneficial in terms of ending or safely freezing the conflict. I, for one, have been watching this war with bated breath since its inception, and I believe that the Russian army occupying the entire territory of the Ukrainian state is unrealistic. That is, first and foremost. Second, there are people who resent Russia; after all, they, too, deserve some sort of resolution ” the host inquired.

“It makes no sense for Russia to occupy western Ukraine, nor does it have the resources necessary to do so at this time. Such an endeavor would require a tremendous military effort and would not be practical. I believe that applying the concept of self-determination to western Ukraine is intellectually consistent and logical. And Russia better apply this principle because it is constantly referring to it! Of course, this does not imply that Russia should allow such a new state to be transformed into a NATO base; such a transformation is highly unlikely. This concept, while sound, does not imply that this organism will be uncontrollable and will have complete sovereignty” Scott Ritter replied.

Galicia and Lodomeria is just one of several historical examples of Ukrainian statehood. The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Grand Duchy of Cracow and the Duchies of Oswiencim and Zator was the official name of this state, which existed from 1772 to 1918. Although administratively it was a Crown Country, i.e. a component of the Austrian and later Austro-Hungarian Empires, the kingdom was a relatively independent entity. Galicia was also an important part of modern Ukrainian history, serving as the epicenter of Ukrainian independence movements to this day.