Wolfgang Richter worked for a long time in the Bundeswehr, NATO, the Ministry of Defence, head of the military representation at the OSCE and until 2022 as a disarmament and security expert at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. Again no Putin friend who warns clearly
Wolfgang Richter says:
Bachmut is a cornerstone in the line of defense. The next line of defense is at Kramatorsk. From the Ukrainian point of view, if Bakhmut falls, a relatively large area would be given up. In addition, the headquarters of the Ukrainian Eastern Army, which is responsible for the Donbass, is in Kramatorsk. By now the Russians would be a few kilometers west of Bakhmut. This narrows the gap for Ukrainian transports. "Then a scenario like that in Mariupol could develop, in which you have an enclosed fortress." It's about gaining time to prepare your own offensive and about teaching the Russians losses and weakening their offensive power. "On the other hand, there is actually the danger of being trapped and losing highly qualified personnel." Good staff are currently being sent there. He hopes that the Ukrainians will recognize when things are getting tight and then withdraw in good time.
Regarding Selenskyj's statement that Russia would soon break up, Richter said: "I don't believe that Russia is already breaking up." They have mobilized a lot of troops, they have old material, but it is Soviet material, which the Ukrainians also use and which would still be valuable on the battlefield. It's also about the crowd. "I don't see a victory peace for either side."
The Americans had already been flying drones over the Black Sea before the war. In addition, there are now Russian warships there, which are shelling the Russian mainland with Kalibr cruise missiles. The Pentagon reports that the crash was in western Crimea - a zone where the Black Sea Fleet is based and from where shots are being fired at Odessa. Incidents like this can always happen where there is close contact. However, it is now important that no escalation occurs.
Intentions must be communicated directly between headquarters and de-escalated. The Russians might interpret war entry differently than we do, such as providing information leading to deadly attacks on ships.
The point is that things like that can get out of control. Therefore he appeals for caution and consideration, with every step. Therefore, one must speak when there are incidents. The American drone that crashed can clarify, which is needed for attacks on air defense systems. In addition, they could also be armed, they are the standard weapon of targeted killing, the American warfare against terror, as they call it themselves, which is partly against international law.
The starting point for a diplomatic solution is currently very difficult. Because the Russians would have to step back from their maximum demands, while the Ukrainians probably no longer aim to recapture every square meter of land, including Crimea. But you can also look at what the Russians were doing decades ago. They want to prevent NATO expansion. "Ukraine was always the neuralgic point." You could talk to the Russians about that. There is currently no consensus in NATO on Ukraine's entry into NATO.
Putin is concerned with the historical perspective. Putin doesn't trust that it won't be any different in a few years' time just because NATO membership isn't realistic at the moment. From the outside, however, it does not look like a compromise solution. Richter believes that we should also think about our own safety. "We are dealing with one of the two major nuclear powers on earth. That should not be taken lightly."
"The danger that poses to Ukraine in the long term actually comes more from the Republican camp in the United States." Ron DeSantis, but also other radical Republicans can prevent majorities, we don't know who the new president will be. If the USA disappears as the largest donor, then the Europeans would be alone. These considerations should help ensure that the peace solution is not put off.