A call for a territorial compromise in the Ukraine war

We in the West are horrified by the brutal and unjust war that Russia had launched against Ukraine and support Ukraine militarily and economically. But how long and to what end are we prepared to do so, how many more lives of Ukrainian (and Russian) soldiers and civilians need to perish, and how much more destruction of Ukrainian cities and villages do we need to witness before we stop the fighting and negotiate an end to this war?

Experts suggest that after the Russian failure to topple the Ukrainian government and capture the capital city of Kyiv; Russia, Ukraine and the West are settling into a long, protracted war of attrition with more and more casualties, more human suffering and more economic hardship and the ever-looming danger of nuclear escalation by intention or by accident.

Ukraine, the US and its European allies have already won this war. NATO and the US have shown unity and determination and other global players have noticed that. Russia has been isolated and weakened economically and politically, and has been taught harsh lessons. However, Russia is still a major military power, capable to endure this long conflict and perhaps even prevail. Moreover; Putin can not afford to lose, that is not a political option for him.

It is time to seek an end to this war. Prolonging it may serve a US strategic goal of weakening Russia (which was stated quite openly by the Biden administration) but at what a terrible cost! Seeking to end the conflict does not mean forgetting the atrocities and the war crimes committed by Russia. Soldiers, military leaders and political leaders responsible for those crimes should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC)!

However, on the ground, we need to provide Putin with a face-saving exit from this conflict. We need to do that to save Ukraine from destruction, to save Ukrainian lives and to avoid nuclear world war III, which, according to some analysts is a real possibility if Putin is cornered. For those reasons, the Ukrainian government should consider territorial concessions, including the Donbas region controlled by the Russian separatists.

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