Stoltenberg & Kuleba Unintentionally Admitted That Russia Is Stronger Than NATO

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Russia is so strong that it successfully fended off the combined potential of NATO and its several other dozen partners across the world who collectively contributed to Ukraine’s ultimately failed counteroffensive over the summer.

NATO’s Proxy War On Russia Through Ukraine Appears To Be Winding Down”, which has prompted the Mainstream Media to precondition the Western public for what could likely become a series of pragmatic compromises next year aimed at freezing the conflict through an armistice. As proof of this in practice, one needs look no further than The Economist admitting Russia’s electronic warfare superiority or Politico dumping on Zelensky by mocking his “dreams” in their latest article about him.

Even officials like NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba have contributed to this trend, albeit unintentionally. For instance, the first admitted that “even with this substantial significant military support from NATO Allies, [Ukraine has] not, over the last year, been able to move the front line. And that just reflects the fact that we should never underestimate Russia.” Although he pledged to keep supporting Ukraine, his words suggested that it won’t make a difference.  

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As for the second, that top diplomat boasted about how “We are pretty much becoming de facto a NATO army in terms of our technical capacity, management, approaches and principles of running an army.” In one fell swoop, he reaffirmed what the NATO chief unintentionally admitted about his bloc being unable to defeat Russia while also lending credence to Russia’s official assessment of the conflict as a proxy war with NATO. Taken together, Stoltenberg and Kuleba just dealt immense damage to NATO’s reputation.

Dwelling upon their disclosures, it becomes apparent that Russia is so strong that it successfully fended off the combined potential of NATO and its several other dozen partners across the world who collectively contributed to Ukraine’s ultimately failed counteroffensive over the summer. Kuleba’s boast about how his side’s forces nowadays function as a “de facto NATO army” hammers home this point and shows that Stoltenberg wasn’t wrong when he said that “we should never underestimate Russia.”

Comparing those two’s comments, however, reveals a growing disconnect between their respective perceptions of this conflict. Whereas the NATO chief tacitly acknowledges Russia’s strength, Ukraine’s top diplomat continues denying this reality, which isn’t surprising though since it aligns with what Time Magazine described as his boss’ messianic delusions of victory per an unnamed senior advisor. This accounts for why Kiev hasn’t yet complied with reported Western pressure to resume talks with Russia.

Instead, Zelensky inadvertently sparked a witch hunt among his own security services by claiming that so-called “Russian agents” are conspiring to orchestrate a “Maidan 3” against him, which comes amidst his spiraling rivalry with increasingly popular Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny. Stoltenberg has to keep up public appearances about supporting Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’ per the Western mantra despite reading the writing on the wall, but Zelensky and his ilk like Kuleba still really believe they can win.

The divisions between NATO and Ukraine are therefore expected to continue widening, with all that entails for possible friction between them the longer that Kiev keeps operating under its political leadership’s messianic delusions, which could lead to NATO backing Zaluzhny. After all, he shares Stoltenberg’s assessment of Russia’s strength as proven by his admission to The Economist in early November that the conflict has entered a stalemate, unlike Zelensky who still denies it to this day.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He has a PhD from MGIMO.

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