In a single week, less than two months before midterm elections, the FBI issued 40 subpoenas against former low and high-level Trump associates, including his election campaign strategist Boris Epshteyn, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and former...
A “Winter War” Solution to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
It is always a risky proposition to identify historical analogies or recommend solutions during an ongoing crisis because conditions can change quickly in unexpected directions.
Nevertheless, the Russian invasion of Ukraine bears some striking similarities to the Russian, then the Soviet Union, invasion of Finland, which precipitated the 1939-1940 Winter War.
Like the NATO expansion to the east, Russia in 1939 felt threatened by the growing military might of Nazi Germany and the failure of the Western nations, particularly Britain and France, to halt Germany’s acquisition of eastern territory, namely the Sudetenland in 1938 and the absorption of the Czech regions of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939.
Although Finland was a neutral country, Russia was concerned about its close ties with Germany, stemming from the 1918 Finnish Civil War when Germany supported the White forces fighting for an independent Finnish republic against the pro-Russian Red forces wanting the incorporation of Finland into the Soviet Union.
The White forces won and an independent Finnish republic was established.
As a result, whether rational or not, Russia feared that Finnish territory would be used by Germany for an invasion, especially because the 1939 Finnish border with Russia was a mere 20 miles from its second-largest city Leningrad, now St. Petersburg.
Those fears were temporarily allayed by the August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which divided eastern Europe into German and Russian spheres of interest precipitating the start of World War II with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. That was quickly followed by a Russian invasion of eastern Poland on September 17, 1939.
The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which fell under Russia’s sphere of interest, were soon forced to accept treaties that allowed Russia to establish military bases on their soil.
Being offered the same arrangement by Russia, Finland refused. After weeks of negotiation between Moscow and Helsinki, Russia invaded Finland on November 30, 1939.
Like Ukraine, which according to leaked documents Russia expected to capitulate after 2-3 days, Russian plans called for a rapid subjugation of Finland in a matter of weeks.
Like Ukraine, Finland put up fierce resistance.
Although Finland was eventually forced to sign a peace treaty with Russia on March 12, 1940, in which Finland ceded some territory to Russia and was obliged to provide a naval base to Russia on the southwestern Finnish peninsula of Hanko, Finland maintained its independence.
Likewise, the single most critical issue for Ukraine is to maintain its independence.
The following is a “Winter War” solution for the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, which maintains Ukrainian independence, while providing Russia an “off-ramp” to cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
> As long as the Russian military is operating inside Ukraine and the Ukrainians wish to resist, Ukraine must be supplied with the arms, ammunition and vital supplies to do so.
> As long as the Russian military is operating inside Ukraine, economic and financial sanctions against Russia must increase.
> A solution can be built upon an updated version of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe conference in 1994.
> Under that agreement, Ukraine became a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, effectively abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia.
> That is, Ukraine pledged not to develop nuclear weapons nor stage nuclear weapons on its territory.
> In return, Russia agreed to respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within Ukraine’s existing borders.
> Russia also agreed to refrain from the use of force or economic pressure against Ukraine and not to engage in political interference inside Ukraine.
> Russia has violated all of those commitments and must be obliged to return to them.
> As a basis for a final agreement, an immediate cease fire must be declared and the immediate withdrawal of all Russian military forces from Ukrainian territory must begin.
> Ukrainian military neutrality is implicit within the Budapest Memorandum, but Ukraine’s request for admission to the European Union must be permitted to proceed.
> Both Russia and Western nations must agree not to interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine.
> Ukraine should recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, but Russia should compensate Ukraine for Ukrainian investments in Crimea.
It is still unclear what will happen, but, needless to say, the conquest of Ukraine by Russia or an expansion of the conflict beyond Ukraine would be enormously destabilizing and in no one’s interest.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for educational, general information, and entertainment purposes only and is never intended to constitute medical or legal advice or to replace the personalized care of a primary care practitioner or legal expert.
While we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, the information provided by America Out Loud, its website(s), and any properties (including its radio shows and podcasts) makes no representations, or warranties of any kind, expressed, or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to its website(s) or the information, products, services or related graphics and images contained on the website(s) for any purpose.
The opinions expressed on the website(s), and the opinions expressed on the radio shows and podcasts, are the opinions of the show hosts and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs, or policies of anyone or any entity we may endorse. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
At no time, nor in any event, will we be liable for any loss, or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss of data or profits arising out of, in an association of, or connection with the use of this website.
Through this website, users can link to other websites that may be listed. Those websites are not under the control of America Out Loud or its brands. We have no control over the nature, content, or availability of those sites. America Out Loud has no control over what the sites do with the information they collect. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation, nor does it endorse the views expressed with or by them.
Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, America Out Loud takes no responsibility for, nor are we, and will not be liable for being temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties beyond our control. America Out Loud does not sell, trade, nor market email addresses or other personal data.