Tucker’s Historic Interview and Ukraine War Reshuffle

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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr

Tucker Carlson conducted a historic interview with Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. Putin has been the leader of Russia since December 31, 1999, when Russia’s first President Boris Yeltsin resigned.

Putin initially gained support with his conduct of the war in Chechnya, where he used force and backed a local warlord family to administer the region. Following 9/11, many saw Putin as more receptive to US cooperation, before he turned gradually more hostile since the 2008 War in Caucasus Georgia. The invasion of Crimea in 2014 and the full war in Ukraine in 2022 severed any political ties between Russia and the West. The NY Times says:

Speaking to Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host, Mr. Putin called on the United States to “make an agreement” to cede Ukrainian territory to Russia in order to end the war. He sought to appeal directly to American conservatives just as Republican lawmakers are holding up aid to Ukraine on Capitol Hill, echoing the talking points of politicians like former President Donald J. Trump who say that the United States has more pressing priorities than a war thousands of miles away.

“Don’t you have anything better to do?” Mr. Putin said in response to Mr. Carlson’s question about the possibility of American soldiers fighting in Ukraine. “You have issues on the border, issues with migration, issues with the national debt.”

In Ukraine, President Zelenskyy made a major change by firing the top general of the Armed Forces. The Army Chief of Staff was instead promoted to its head. Immediate changes in strategy and tactics is not yet know, but Ukraine’s troops are in a more precarious position compared to their Russian opponents. The Washington Post reports:

Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who had been commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, takes over the head job at a challenging time. With the war poised to enter its third year, morale is low, the military is facing shortages of ammunition and personnel, and Kyiv is struggling to maintain support from the West.

The choice of Syrskyi as chief commander is hardly a surprise, as few in the Ukrainian military have the experience and know-how to be able to fill the shoes of his popular predecessor, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi. Syrskyi’s battlefield successes have earned him the backing of his soldiers, who have been locked in grinding battles for two years.

The neoconservatives’ refusal to imagine a brokered peace that does not result in Russia’s unconditional defeat could spell Ukraine’s doom. While Ukraine has had access to advanced weaponry, Western military industrial complex is finding it hard to meet the demand for ammunition. The war has turned into one of attrition, which Ukraine cannot hope to win if the Russian Government can continue to supply its own forces.

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