Right after the Maidan Revolution, I might have been supportive of pro-Russia regions holding internationally supervised votes to see if people wanted to leave and join Russia. But given the ethnic cleansing Russia has been doing, there is no way to hold such an election without rewarding them for said ethnic cleansing.


Ukraine asked for UN held referendums in occupied regions in 2014 and 2015, russia refused. There's literally nothing else to discuss.


In the near term? Absolutely not. In the long term? It’s conceivable that they might give up Crimea, but I still wouldn’t consider it all that likely.


>It’s conceivable that they might give up Crimea, but I still wouldn’t consider it all that likely. Completely anecdotal, but in the years preceding Februrary 2022, the general sentiment among my Ukrainian acquaintances was that Russia could have Crimea, but they had no right to Donbass. I understand now that Ukraine won't give up Crimea after all that has happened. But I do think that the fight to retake territory in the East and South might be so long-term and so severe that Ukraine rethinks its position on Crimea.


I have to wonder if Crimea would be easier to take, despite any choke points, if only because the geography makes it ripe for a blockade.


How would you blockade it? The Ukrainian navy is virtually non existent.


Well, the oldest Nimitz class are coming up for retirement in a few years...


Missiles. Don't get me wrong, they'd be entirely reliant on outside support, but given the right hardware, it's a possibility.


You can’t blockade with missiles. That’s not what a blockade is.


Why not?


The same reason you can’t secure air superiority with tanks.


You just need to prevent Russian ships from depositing supplies. Naval standoff missiles are more than capable of doing that.


How are you going to forward deploy those missiles into range?


How else exactly? Boarding actions? 16 inch guns?


You surround the peninsula with warships that block the import and export of resources. That's what a blockade is. How else can Ukraine do this? That's the thing, they cannot.


What do warships use as their main weapon?


What warship?


Giving up Crimea sounded more reasonable back before Russia showed us just how bloodthirsty and unreliable they are. Now the concern is that Ukrainian security will be precarious as long as Russia holds Crimea. Future Russian scenarios for invading become pretty infeasible without a southern avenue of attack.


Giving up Crimea sounded more reasonable back before Ukraine ground a full scale Russian invasion to a bloody halt.


It’s worth pointing out that sometime late in 2022 Russia was offered a peace plan wherein they returned the Donbas, Ukraine did not get into NATO and the Crimea question was put on hold for 20 years. I think barring Russia regaining the strategic initiative and holding it (by which then they’ll push for their maximalist goals), this is the floor for peace deals. If the Western aid we’re seeing continues and grows, and the hinted at spring or summer offensive is a Kharkiv or Kherson level success, the floor of that plan could be raised


But the war is much, much harder on the Ukrainians than on Russians. Every month of civilian deaths, infrastructure cuts, destroyed buildings etc has enormous costs on Ukraine


But the cost of LOSING the war is much, much greater for Ukraine. So their ability to endure and fight is much greater. The fox is running for his dinner: the rabbit is running for his life. A Russian victory means extermination of the Ukrainian nation and identity, along with a genocide not seen on the European continent since 1945.


Losing the war is tantamount to being wiped out from the history books on every level


Ukraine has more to lose This is very much a war of survival for them


As others have said, Ukraine stands to lose a lot more if they lose this war. Even if they agree to stalemate, all that achieves is giving time for Russia to regroup, and heaven forbid, get someone competent to lead the charge.


> Even if they agree to stalemate, all that achieves is giving time for Russia to regroup It also gives Ukraine time to regroup and rebuild. Time they need far more than Russia does and time that Ukraine is far better positioned to make good use of. Which is why Russia is unlikely to agree to any ceasefire.


Not necessarily true. IMO there is no outcome to end this war where Ukraine does not join NATO. Once that happens, whatever territory that remains will be safeguarded from further Russian incursion.


Ukraine isn’t going to be allowed to join NATO as long as they have territory that is disputed with Russia.


That's the whole point of "concession".


If there's an active arms conflict, yes. Disputed territory alone won't prevent membership.


Disputed territory does prevent membership.




Go look up the NATO Membership Action Plan, established at the Washington summit in 99.


> The list of issues identified for discussion does not constitute criteria for membership and is intended to encompass those issues which the aspiring countries themselves have identified as matters which they wish to address. Later: > Aspirants would also be expected: > to settle their international disputes by peaceful means; > ... > to settle ethnic disputes or external territorial disputes including irredentist claims or internal jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with OSCE principles and to pursue good neighbourly relations; I am not sure if this means that any territorial disputes must be settled first.


No it does not. Pretty much every country in NATO has disputed territory. Hell, the US has disputed territory with Canada.


The MAP was introduced in 1999. Canada and the US are founding members of NATO, which was formed 50 years before those standards were introduced.


And pretty much every new member since 1999 has had border disputes. Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, you name it.


I think this is worth a !ping ukraine&foreign-policy


Interesting. What I take from this is no one has the faintest fucking idea.


Pinged UKRAINE ([subscribe](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=groupbot&subject=Subscribe%20to%20UKRAINE&message=subscribe%20UKRAINE) | [unsubscribe](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=groupbot&subject=Unsubscribe%20from%20UKRAINE&message=unsubscribe%20UKRAINE)) Pinged FOREIGN-POLICY ([subscribe](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=groupbot&subject=Subscribe%20to%20FOREIGN-POLICY&message=subscribe%20FOREIGN-POLICY) | [unsubscribe](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=groupbot&subject=Unsubscribe%20from%20FOREIGN-POLICY&message=unsubscribe%20FOREIGN-POLICY)) [About & Group List](https://reddit.com/r/neoliberal/wiki/user_pinger_2) | [Unsubscribe from all groups](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=groupbot&subject=Unsubscribe%20from%20all%20groups&message=unsubscribe)


The answer is a definitive, maybe? War is unpredictable sure Ukraine is winning right now but Russia is mobilizing and training more troops will that be enough to make a difference? Will Republicans in the house be able to majorly curtail American aid to Ukraine? Ukraine is gearing up for a spring offensive will that meet with success or disaster? Will Putin be deposed in a coup? All of these are questions we don't know the answer to at present and all could dramatically impact the final peace settlement and anyone who claims to know how this war ends doesn't.


The interesting thing is it is very hard to judge just how brittle an authoritarian regime is. I think the big unanswered question is how survivable Putin’s regime is if they keep suffering setbacks like Kherson and Kharkiv. If the Russian government stops functioning effectively or loses their grip on the military anything could happen


Independent polling has shown Russia has rallied around Putin. Even outspoken critics of the war agree with the claimed cassus belli.


Well, that always happens in authoritarian regimes. They often produce mile wide and inch deep false consensus, the levada polling last year suggests that’s the case in Russia. And that can fall apart pretty fast. I’m obviously not saying Russia is gonna have a liberal revolution, but the current regime fails and the new leaders are unable to consolidate power they might not be able to maintain the war effort. After all, they’re already struggling. You don’t need a bunch of anti-war activists, just enough people who aren’t doing their part


Russia isn’t North Korea. The polls are a pretty genuine indication.


I’m not saying the polls are wrong, just that in that sort of information environment people’s opinions are often not that strongly held and their support can’t be counted on for much


Sociologists and political scientists don't seem to agree with that though when discussing those polls, most people I see whether they're Western experts or independent Russian experts see it as another manifestation of apathy, depolitization and passive approval/lack of dissproval of whatever is going on in a way that is natural for autocracies. Basically the Soviet odobryem culture. I also don't see outspoken critics of the war agreeing with anything coming out of Putin's mouth lol but I also don't know if you're counting nationalists like Girkin as war criticism, I'm sure he agrees with those claims Just take the infamous independent RussianField poll where the majority of Russians both approve of continuing this war but also signing a peace agreement. This isn't exactly a strong positive but it's already much better than if most people in Russia were mobilizing voluntarily and lining up to enlist in droves instead of passively going through life and nodding along to whatever is the ~~party~~ Putin line. Russia is still highly atomized and disconnected, you're not gonna accurate poll results from a society like that. And speaking of the RussianField folks, they themselves say that the number of people hanging up has been a lot higher after the start of the war and that the usefulness of the absolute numbers is questionable, it's more about the overall trends


Assume it is strong. Assuming that it is weak is just wishful thinking. Venezuela, Syria, Cuba, North Korea are shitholes, but stable. Russia has traditions of authoritarian regimes and tightened the screws already and still have space to do it even more. Maybe some even tougher sanctions, like exporting the seeds from Netherlands should be considered, but it doesn't look like that is on the table.


>Will Putin be deposed in a coup? This would be a terrible thing for Ukraine. Putin is not some individual dragging a country into a war all by himself. Whomever replaces him is going to have a mandate of "victory or death". If Putin is overthrown its going to be by people who want to roll out the nuclear arsenal. He's spent 25 years ensuring that is the case as his number one defense against assassination by foreign agents.


I'm not sure about that. Power struggle is likely. Some Russian oligarchs just want a proper cleptocracy, that may even turn into a democracy in 50 years or so, so they can live lavish lives.


Make no mistake. Even retaking territory up to the line of February 23rd, 2022 would be a tremendous success for Ukraine and a bitter failure for Moscow. Furthermore, not all de-occupied land is, well, “equal” in the eyes of the warring participants. Retaking even a portion of the Southern Bank (chiefly, Melitopol) would put Ukrainian Forces in a position to severely target and endanger Russian Forces (and the Russian State control, overall) in Crimea. Russia has so far pursued maximalist goals and has made it pretty clear that as the faction that began the war, they harbor no interest in proper negotiations, with wildly radical demands. That could change and the best manner to achieve that change would be to assist Ukraine in making sure Kyivan forces de-occupy as much land as possible.


The problem is that any concession can become a other jumping off point for a future invasion.


I know a lot of people are confident Ukraine will even be able to retake Crimea, but I don't see it. Maybe if a Ukrainian offensive shows spectacular success, but I find it unlikely Ukraine will be able to push all Russian forces out following Russian mobilization. I'm not even very confident Ukraine can retake most of the Donbass.


Russia won't give up, e.g., Crimea, unless there is a regime change, and maybe not even then.


Russia might not have a choice in the matter.


Crimea is easier to take than Donbass. Russia may have deeper feelings for Crimea, but why they should be respected?


Yeah nobody wants to admit that Russia can't lose Crimea for the same reason the US can't and won't lose Hawaii.


It may be even more dire than that. Sevastopol is Russia’s only warm water port. If the US lost Hawaii, the USN still has other facilities from which to operate. The same is not true of Russia. Begs the question how much of Crimea’s value to the Russians is wrapped up in the port, and how much in other factors?


This isn’t even close to true. Why do people act like [Novorossiysk](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novorossiysk) doesn’t exist?


I stand corrected! Thanks. I assume that Russia doesn’t want to go through the presumably monstrous cost of relocating assets. I’m not familiar with those costs - is that what’s stopping Russia from using other ports and giving up Sevastopol?


Yes. It will be very expensive to expand and refit Novorossiysk to house the the Black Sea Fleet.


We could fix that problem for them if we sent Ukraine more Harpoon missiles.


Probably cheaper than the war they ended up getting themselves into


Well, the war isn't about Sevastopol. A more relevant comparison would be the 2014 sanctions.


If they end up losing Crimea, it’ll definitely become relevant.


Non-mobile version of the Wikipedia link in the above comment: [Novorossiysk](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novorossiysk) *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/neoliberal) if you have any questions or concerns.*


Russia is not owed a warm water port, sorry not sorry.


National pride is just a tool. It’s all about pragmatism here.


All depentent on what is the state of land at the point when either side doesn't find it useful to prepare for a new offensive.


Lyle is a cuck.


Ivo has a weird take. This isn’t Korea or the Yom Kippur war. It’s a one sided proxy war, not a two sided


A lot would have to change for any territorial concessions to be on the table. Right now there's very low support among Ukrainians for giving up land, and they show quite serious resistance to changing their mind. Given the fact that they have been snatching some big victories over the past few months, they have no real reason to want to give in to the Russian demands. Now, this could change completely if the previously mentioned conditions were to no longer apply. War is fluid and shifting all the time, so technically anything is possible, and public responses can be difficult to predict. Still, I think it's pretty damn unlikely that Ukrainian morale would shift so drastically that territorial concessions are seriously considered. Plus with the recent announcement of modern Armor for the UAF, the chances of future offensives to liberate lost territory have only increased.


Either way, the world should never end sanctions until they're given back. I don't mean 2014 sanctions, I mean 2022, perpetually, neverending and never willing to even peel back a little. They want the territory? They get to bleed for it, forever, and always have low levels of foreign attacks on their strategic facilities, like the decade of funding Iraqi resistance to Saddam. Edit: Not glorifying violence, not advocating for terror ops, just wanted to point this out ahead. I mean mass organized resistance internationally to Russia must continue until it's broken apart, or reformed.




Incredibly unlikely. They're winning.


"They're winning" **right now** is a very low criteria to judge who will come out on top in a conflict, just saying. Like every protracted war, it will all be about economics and demographics and military-industrial output specifically. And you can't just measure GDP and judge which party will outproduce the other. So many people seem to believe that economic indicators translate into military-industrial indicators. Too early to tell anything in my opinion, we'll have to see how Russian ATGMs do against NATO tanks now.


Yeah, as much as I have faith in Ukraine we don’t know how effectively they’ll use their new NATO tools and how effectively Russia will counter them. If it’s Gulf War level success then the war may as well be over because Russia is about to be out of armored vehicles, but if not then there’s a long way to go


>They're winning. They're not winning, they're just not losing either. They've still lost an enormous amount of territory, they've lost just as many casualties as Russia, many of their cities have been flattened, and they're still vastly outnumbered and outgunned.


The front hasn't really moved since September.


November*. Kherson was reclaimed in November


Been muddy.


Shit, I forgot about that one.


Crimea within Ukraine, or Crimea as an independent & neutral buffer state. Those are the first and second most-likely outcomes, respectively.


Reparations for lost territory at a bare minimum, and joint commercial access for ports. Would re-incorporating highly russophile regions be in Ukraine's political interests? I fear Crimea is so deeply Russian now that it would be a poison pill to take it back.


Ukraine may give territorial concessions in return for security guarantees and not because Russia wants it and considers some annexed territories better than others.