A grim anniversary

One year on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine we send our condolences to all those families who have lost loved ones in the conflict. We condemn the needless violence and the damage to Ukraine’s cities.

NATO has made clear it does not want a war with Russia. It has told Russia NATO is no threat to Russia’s land or people. As proof of this it will not send NATO personnel onto the battlefield nor will it allow Ukraine to fire off NATO supplied weapons outside Ukraine’s borders into Russian territory.

NATO under Biden got off to a slow start helping Ukraine but has now escalated its support by sending a much greater range of weapons and technical assistance. Putin argues that NATO provoked the fight as he seeks to provoke the West. The Ukrainian forces stopped the Russians reaching Kyiv and are now counter attacking in the South east where Russia has made gains.

Neither side currently want peace talks, as both think they can achieve more on the battlefield. China talks of a possible settlement but has yet to spell out how and what it would look like.

What would you like NATO to do next? What kind of a peace would be fair?


  1. Peter Wood
    February 24, 2023

    Good Morning,

    I don’t believe it is possible to reason with a drugged-up megalomaniac; so yes, to the question not answered by the former PM, Bunter Boris, NATO needs to be put on a ‘war economy’ footing, to show we’re serious. Overwhelming resources need to be given to Ukraine, who is fighting our war for us.
    I find it typical, and despicable, the BB is milking the war for his own PR benefit. As usual, he’s showboating around pretending to be the answer to the big problems, but in fact is taking no responsibility for his words. As with Brexit, he made a mess of leaving, and now somebody else is having to clean it up. We cannot afford such flawed characters.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      February 24, 2023

      You vote for such people though, don’t you?

      As for Ukraine, well brexiters seem to demand an absolutist’s sovereignty for this country, and so they equally should grant others that wish should they choose. That means that whatever terms the Ukrainians want for them to stop attacking their invaders, destroyers and murderers must be respected fully as a matter entirely for them.

      They seem to be very reasonable as a people when it comes to sharing some matters with peaceful, civilised countries however.

    2. Ian B
      February 24, 2023

      @Peter Wood +1 we are still and we still be paying for that Man and his Government(as a collective responsible group they are still there) for many years to come on many fronts. It makes you ask who are the megalomaniacs

  2. Wanderer
    February 24, 2023

    Your summary avoids some important issues. 2014, the US-supported coup followed by a civil war with a Russian-speaking minority, with many civilians being killed. Corruption. Neo-nazis. The banning of opposition parties and closure of media.

    And what about NATO sabre-rattling and expansion? Of course Putin has a point there. You know that geopolitics is a rough, brutal business. The US wanted to diminish Russian power and ended up provoking a war that has the potential to escalate into a nuclear catastrophe, and has the Chinese laughing on the sidelines at our stupidly.

    What do I want NATO to do? Say Ukraine will never be a member, and no-one else is going to join. Stop the military-industrial complex from formenting profitable (for them) wars. No more military “regime-change” games with all the chaos and unintended consequences that follow.

    A fair peace is a ridiculous idea, when it comes to geopolitics. A peace that will give some stability should be the aim. Russia gets to keep the Crimea and Donbass. Ukraine remains as a nation state, outside the EU.

    1. Anselm
      February 24, 2023

      Have you ever actually met a Ukrainian?

      1. Ian wragg
        February 24, 2023

        Pootin needs to be put firmly back in his box.
        The man’s a megalomaniac nutter. It will be decades before Russia can be accepted by the rest of the world.

        1. Clough
          February 24, 2023

          Sorry, Ian, the ‘rest of the world’ happily trades with Russia, and some of its most important countries (India, Pakistan, China, South Africa etc.) didn’t vote with NATO at the UN yesterday. They saw no reason to condemn Russia in the draft resolution vote that was held, so they abstained.

        2. Lynn Atkinson
          February 24, 2023

          The EU bought £500,000 of energy per week from Russia last year.

          1. hefner
            February 27, 2023

            I am afraid the value in £ of the imported gas by the EU from Russia does not mean much as the price varies widely with the season, the impact of Covid, the war in Ukraine, … (indexmundi.com ‘Russian natural gas monthly price).
            It might be better to look at the quantities actually imported.
            As an average over a year, the EU was buying 32 million m^3 of Russian gas per month in 2017, 30 m per month in 2018, 31 m per month in 2019, 21 m per month in 2021, 4 m per month in 2022
            Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (oxfordenergy.org)

      2. Wanderer
        February 24, 2023

        Yes Anselm, I study daily alongside a Ukranian. She’s very nice and moved here a month ago to be with her husband, who had moved earlier. She can’t get a decent job because her qualification is not recognised. If it weren’t for hawks in Washington the family would probably still be living and working in Ukraine.

      3. Sharon
        February 24, 2023

        Yes, I have!
        I’ve met loads of Ukrainian refugees. Women and children and some elderly. My experience is that they are lovely people and desperately worried, and very fearful.

      4. Mickey Taking
        February 24, 2023

        Please explain relevance of that question. Millions of people all around the world had never met Germans but soon realised they were in thrall to the Nazis. Invasion of an independent country has only one physical oppressor, words are mostly hot air. In God we trust? Yeah right!

      5. Lynn Atkinson
        February 24, 2023

        A Russian Ukrainian, a Polish Ukrainian, a Hungarian Ukrainian? Which do you mean?

      6. rose
        February 24, 2023

        I have met many, both of Russian and Ukrainian descent, and they all lament one thing: the deep corruption of their government.

      7. Stred
        February 24, 2023

        Yes. And my family had Ukrainian friend’s who told them about the corruption and possible tensions after the coup. They visited Ukraine. The latest I met said the war was about money with corrupt oligarchs and politicians on both sides wanting control of the industrial areas. Ukranian Russian speakers in Mariopol were polled by Finnish researchers and the majority wanted to stay Ukranian but have local independence and continue speaking Russian. They did not want to join the EU.

        I would like to see Nato stop sending arms to escalate the killing and negotiate a ceasefire and a separation of the Eastern provinces and instead of encouraging attacks on these areas, enforce a de militarised zone with peacekeeping troops. The nationalist Nazi style regiments should be disarmed and made to stop aggression against Russian speakers and the Orthodox Church. The Eastern provinces should stay in Ukraine. The Russians would be glad to have stopped the war and the attacks on their fellow Ukranian citizens. Crimes was and now is Russian and they need their southern base for defence. The US should keep out of home Russian waters and stop pushing regime change and control over Russian resources. And please could we have some cheap Siberian gas instead of expensive fracked LNG from the USA. Tell Boris to stop playing Churchill and acting as an arms salesman. He has caused as many casualties as Blair.

    2. Philip P.
      February 24, 2023

      + 1

    3. BOF
      February 24, 2023

      Wanderer, your comment mirrors what I was going to say. I add my voice to this view.

      1. MFD
        February 24, 2023

        And I BOF, When you read about the gangsterism in Ukraine which included the Biden Jnr and Americans, I remind you all it takes two to tango.
        Ukraine! I dont care, I do worry about the actions of the UN and NATO going on behind bscks.

        1. John Hatfield
          February 24, 2023

          Perhaps it is time for NATO to be disbanded.

    4. Donna
      February 24, 2023

      Well said.

      Sir John’s summary is the equivalent of a 1930s/40s Western where you were either a Big Bad Man (Black Hat) who is cast as the villain versus a Clean, Good Man (White Hat) who is the hero. No context given or shades of grey permitted.

      The EU and USA have been interfering in Ukraine for years and they knew Putin was rattled by it because he warned them more than once. Are we really supposed to believe that if Russia was blatantly interfering in, say, Mexico, the USA wouldn’t have reacted? Pull the other one.

    5. Sea_Warrior
      February 24, 2023

      ‘Say Ukraine will never be a member, and no-one else is going to join.’ You make a fair point. NATO has, for some years, been prioritsing the securoty of non-members over the security of current members. Who next? Moldova? Let the EU, eager to establish a Defence identity, look after the defence Sweden, Finland, etc.

    6. Nigl
      February 24, 2023

      Indeed. As ever the West has been less than honest about the Ukraine’s initial behaviour. I believe both countries have pariah status and as such should be forced to settle. Make the Crimea independent under the ‘control’ of the UN with an elected Parliament. In the meantime make arms support conditional on Kiev starting talking.

      Certainly the jingoistic rubbish coming from Johnson etc does not have my support.

    7. Peter Wood
      February 24, 2023

      Russia needs to be neutered, and quicky. The real threat is Xi, and the US doesn’t want to be fighting both continents at the same time.

      1. Clough
        February 25, 2023

        The real threat is Biden, a XXXXXXX politician who can press the nuclear button. Under Trump, America got involved in no new wars, under Obama about seven, and now Biden has added another. War-mongering Democrats of the Hilary Clinton ilk are the real threat to peace in the world. With luck they will be out of power by the beginning of 2025, but until then we have to get through some very dangerous times.

        1. graham1946
          February 25, 2023

          Under Trump we would not be here at all. He is said to have told Putin that if he did anything like this he would ‘rearrange the architecture of Moscow’. I believe that is true. We didn’t get anything like this in his time.

          1. Clough
            February 25, 2023

            Exactly. It started with Biden.

    8. Sharon
      February 24, 2023


      I agree! There’s been too much interference from the west and NATO needs to hold off expanding further.

    9. Ian B
      February 24, 2023

      @Wanderer so reward all aggressors. You seem to be suggesting that if any one that has a military force can take what they want.

    10. RichardP
      February 24, 2023

      Thank you Wanderer for making comments that we will never get from the MSM.
      The expansion ambitions of the EU have also influenced this situation.

    11. rose
      February 24, 2023

      It is difficult for NATO to make the case for being purely defensive after the Clinton/Blair abuse of NATO on behalf of the KLA. The Russians could only look impotently on then while their sister Slavs were bombed, and won’t have forgotten as quickly as the West did. And, of course, NATO is still in Kosovo which is a failed state.

      1. rose
        February 24, 2023

        The other alrming abuser of NATO has been the EU. In its overweening expansion Eastwards, contrary to Kissinger’s wise warnings, it always insists that every new country it gobbles up must join NATO. This has been a crazy and reckless strategy, more worthy of being called megalomania.

        1. Zorro
          February 24, 2023

          Cameron gave the game away with his EU up to the Urals comment. NATO has every interest in destroying Russia, grabbing its resources, and splitting it up and intends to do so. Russia knows this and will act accordingly.


        2. Chris S
          February 24, 2023

          The ludicrously-named EU “External Action Service” has a great deal of responsibility for contributing towards Punin’s paranoia. Its head, the totally unsuitable Ashton woman, nominated for the job by Gordon Brown, blundered all over Eastern Europe drumming up new members for the EU. The EU should have left things like diplomacy to the British and French who understand the subtleties necessary.

    12. Christine
      February 24, 2023


    13. Barbara
      February 24, 2023


    14. XY
      February 24, 2023

      Absolute nonsense. “NATO expansion” is not a threat to anyone – it is a solely defensive pact. A free country can join a defensive alliance (even if it happens to be on the doorstep of a keptocracy that wants to invade its neighbours).

      It is totally wrong to say that “NATO did this” or that – NATO *as an organisation* has never declared war on anyone. Some of the countries who also happen to be members of NATO may have acted independently or in collaboration, but that is NOT the same as NATO acting.

      Simply put, being a member of NATO as a defensive alliance does not mean that country must never go to war of its own volition – i.e. if a country has NATO membership then that does not preclude military action as an individual country (but that is *not* a NATO action, it is an action of that country in its own name).

      The difference is very, very important.

      And it is vital that Ukraine does become a NATO member in time, when this war is over and all 1991 bordersd are restored – simply to prevent this happening again. Because the Russian mindset won’t change because they lose this war – they will re-arm under new leadership, produce better weapons and be back again if they get the chance.

      1. R.Grange
        February 25, 2023

        NATO – the ‘defensive alliance’ that invaded Afghanistan and attacked Serbia and Libya? Come off it, XY.

    15. IanT
      February 24, 2023

      I’m sure the issues aren’t black and white Wanderer but as a young soldier who sat (many years ago) in a dark German wood thinking WW3 was about to begin – I will admit to having a great deal of sympathy with the Ukranians.
      Against the odds (and all expectations) they have defended their Country with great courage and determination. Whilst I would not agree to sending our troops (what few we have left) I have no objection to giving the Ukranians the weapons required to defend themselves. If it also helps to expose how pitifully under resourced our own forces are, then so much the better.

    16. Pauline Baxter
      February 24, 2023

      Wanderer. YES I agree. In fact I would like to go further and suggest the Ukraine/Russian border would make more sense along the Dnieper river. Obviously Ukraine to keep Kiev.
      In Winter, Russia has always needed access to the Mediterranean Sea because it’s other ports are icebound.
      That also needs consideration.
      Russia’s access to the North Sea has been closed. It was intended to be an alternative to Mediterranean access.
      Turkey to the south and other states to the north still threaten Russia’s trade route to the Mediterranean sea.

    17. John Hatfield
      February 24, 2023

      Few have the courage to say it but you are right. Our MSM will not admit it, but Ukraine is not innocent in this.

  3. DOM
    February 24, 2023

    Merkel’s gone very quiet and it seems afforded immunity by the usual coterie of Globalist slime from the usual Stalinist denunciations usually reserved for the Trumps of this world

    The EU urges Ukraine to fight its independence and sovereignty. Excuse me for a moment while I throw up, the stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. It’s a pity Mr Redwood chooses not to expose the rank double standards of the imperialist EU

    1. Anselm
      February 24, 2023


      1. Richard II
        February 24, 2023

        Take your BBC blinkers off and you might understand, Anselm. Read more widely and more critically.

        One year ago, the BBC and the Guardian suddenly stopped worrying, as they had regularly been doing, about extreme right-wing ultranationalists in Ukraine and their rather unfortunately shaped insignia. Why was that, do we think?

      2. Barbara
        February 24, 2023

        I think Dom might be referring to Merkel’s admission that the EU signed the Minsk peace accords with Russia while having no intention of keeping them. Merkel and Macron have now stated they signed the accords just to ‘give Ukraine time’ to re-arm, ie the promises were given in bad faith as NATO wanted war from the beginning.

    2. MFD
      February 24, 2023

      Agree with that DOM. EU is the real enemy of all Europe. The population just cannot see that!

    3. Dave Andrews
      February 24, 2023

      As an example of the hypocrisy, we have Germany celebrating its decision to help the Ukrainians with military hardware, whilst simultaneously funding Russia with gas purchases. Who are they helping the most?

    4. glen cullen
      February 24, 2023

      Yeah, the EU urging Ukraine to fight for its independence is all sophistry … the real choice the EU is urging is either join the collective of Russia or join the collective of the European Union

  4. Javelin
    February 24, 2023

    They have been at war since 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea.

    My prediction is Russia will keep shelling and throwing bodies at the problem until there are peace talks.

    1. Sharon
      February 24, 2023

      There were peace talks last April, the condition being that Ukraine would not join NATO – but allegedly, Boris Johnson talked Zelenskky from signing.

    2. Bloke
      February 24, 2023

      NATO pursuing peace would be better.
      Defence is essential. Lethal weapons provide some. Sanctions help dissuade and prevent aggressors’ ability to cause harm.
      If combat is unavoidable, opponents could settle who ‘wins’ using a chess competition to decide the victor. Such a peaceful process would always be preferable to a war causing loss of life, injury, destruction, waste and more.
      Cultural quirks can also be a gentle deterrent as Russians tend to be superstitious. At one time sailors had crucifixes tattooed across their backs to avoid being lashed. Even tiny influences can avoid tipping the delicate balance between acting to harm and not.

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      February 24, 2023

      When Ukraine cut of the water supply to Crimea do you mean? And wanted to join NATO so that NATO would have a sea base in Crimea? And you wonder why Russia objected? How would the USA like Russia to have nuclear subs in Cuba?
      Breaking the agreement of neutrality for Ukraine was a step too far and very aggressive, an existential threat to Russia.

    4. glen cullen
      February 24, 2023

      Russia has recent history; and the west did nothing
      In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia
      In 1992 Russia invaded Moldova. the region of Transnistria

      1. R.Grange
        February 24, 2023

        Nope. Georgia invaded the ethnically distinct South Ossetia area, Glen, and found itself confronting Russian peacekeepers there, who gave the Georgian army a good hiding. You read the deliberately back-to-front reporting in the NATO media, I think.

        1. glen cullen
          February 24, 2023

          Before 2008 was South Ossetia in Russia or Georgia ?

          1. R.Grange
            February 24, 2023

            Neither: ‘The South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, established by Soviet authorities in 1922, declared independence from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia’s autonomy and trying to re-establish its control over the region by force.’ (Wikipedia)

            You see, Glen, reality is often more complex than a simple either/or. As with Kosovo, or Catalonia, or Northern Ireland, for that matter.

          2. glen cullen
            February 25, 2023

            So this independent autonomous oblast chose to return to the welcoming arms of the Russia Federation in 2008, after being independent they decided to forgo any referendum or election and go straight for reunion to Putin’s control …doesn’t sound ‘autonomous’ – the Russians went in under arms

          3. R.Grange
            February 25, 2023

            Do please check the facts, Glen. South Ossetia did not become part of the Russian Federation in 2008. It remained independent thanks to a Russian peace-keeping force preventing the Georgian army from taking over.

          4. glen cullen
            February 25, 2023

            Just like the Crimea isn’t part of the Russian Federation

  5. Hat man
    February 24, 2023

    The only peace deal that should be accepted under international law is one based on UN resolution 2202. This called on the Kiev government to implement the Minsk II accords that gave limited autonomy to the Russian-speaking Donbas region. This required ‘Carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine with a new constitution entering into force by the end of 2015 providing for decentralization as a key element’. Kiev failed to abide by the Minsk II agreement it had signed, with the cynical connivence of the French and German guarantors of the accord. As admitted since by Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, they preferred to see Ukraine build up its military strength, which it then used to try to quash the Donbas people by force.
    How to get peace along the lines of Resolution 2202? Withdrawal of Russian and Kiev forces from the Donbas, replaced by an international (non-NATO) peace-keeping force along its internal border with the rest of Ukraine, would be a necessary first step. The Kiev troops have mostly been pushed out by now, so the onus would fall on Putin to comply.

  6. Anselm
    February 24, 2023

    This is our worst nightmare: a mad dictator with a fistful of nukes.
    Peace is only possible if that mad dictator is removed. Zelensky is right on that one.
    Yesterday I watched a reporter in Russia where the vox pop was unanimous: NATO invaded. NATO is Nazi.

    1. Donna
      February 24, 2023

      Do you seriously think that if Putin is removed, the Russians don’t have a platoon of alternative “mad dictators” to replace him?

      And who’s going to do the removing – us? Well that’ll go down well with the Russian people. Probably far less well than removing Saddam did in Iraq, because many Iraqis were glad when Saddam was removed. I doubt that will be the reaction of the Russian people who, rightly or wrongly, believe they are under threat from NATO.

      Sometimes The Devil You Know is better than the one you don’t.

      1. Geoffrey Berg
        February 24, 2023

        If Putin were removed for military failure (against our weaponry) his successor, even a horrible one, would not want to suffer the same fate as Putin and would therefore not be invading neighbouring countries. So the more and more sophisticated weapons we send Ukraine the better as the quicker will be the end of the economic and military disruptions, let alone the atrocities, Putin is causing. Yet another reason why the now unequivocal Boris Johnson should replace the still equivocating Rishi Sunak as our Prime Minister.

    2. Bloke
      February 24, 2023

      NATO should Negotiate.
      Two sisters were fighting over an orange.
      A mediator found that one wanted the juice for a drink and the other wanted the peel for cooking.
      Both sisters realised they could have the whole of the orange they wanted, in happiness.

    3. Mickey Taking
      February 24, 2023

      echoes of N.Korea, China, Vietnam….USA finds it easy to show the people why defence of the Homeland takes first priority including an arsenal in your home.

    4. Lynn Atkinson
      February 24, 2023

      He does not have nukes, although Zelensky had banned and jailed the opposition parties.

    5. rose
      February 24, 2023

      I’m not sure it is helpful to personlise it. If Putin were to die, another would take his place and Russian policy on this would not change.

      1. Bloke
        February 24, 2023

        Key aggressors in leadership cause the death of many thousands of their so-called enemy as well as their own people. It is a savage act, yet if focused on the one or perhaps 30 leading proponents who initiate war, potentially millions of innocent lives would be saved on both sides.

        1. rose
          February 25, 2023

          “yet if focused on the one or perhaps 30 leading proponents”

          That is the point. There are others besides the nominal leader pursuing the policy.

  7. John McDonald
    February 24, 2023

    Sir John almost an unbiased assessment of the situation, but like almost all European Politicians makes no reference to the lead up to want can only be discribed as the start of the third world war. We have this innocent Government looking after all it’s citizens no matter their ethnicity and all of a sadden this mad leader of another country invades to expand his evil empire.
    I think this is the story line that we are more or less encouraged to accept by our Government and Media. Ofcom bands RT so we can’t hear the other side of the story. The Russian side always tells lies and the West is always honest in what it tells its citizens.
    You know Sir John first hand that the UK Government won’t even support a ceasefire. Which would be a start.
    This is a question of what do the ethnic Russians in Donbas and Crimea want not what the US, EU, NATO, and the UK wants. And thats the problem the West wants a War with Russia despite of the words of we are no threat.
    I don’t understand why and what hidden forces are behind it but it is plain to see from down here at the bottom of the democratic ladder.
    So get the UK Government to support a cease fire and push the UN to support a UN supervised vote in Donbas and Crimea if they want to be part of Russia. The boat sailed on the option to be an autonomous part of Ukraine in 2014.

    1. Nig
      February 24, 2023

      Excellent. It is obvious our news is being censured/ given to us from only Kyev’s perspective and the West’s politicians claiming only ‘humanitarian intentions an utter lie.

  8. Sea_Warrior
    February 24, 2023

    ‘What would you like NATO to do next?’ I want NATO to stop making press releases about Ukraine; they feed Putin’s narrative. NATO should restrict announcements to what it is doing to secure the securoty of its member nations. Posturing about Ukraine should be left, largely, to the USA, UK and France.
    Peace? Russia has to leave Ukraine – all of it. Sanctions should be left in place until Putin has resigned.
    China? If it supplies weapons to Russia, it must face the same level as sanctions as that evil country. It should have been sanctioned when its ‘wolf diplomacy’ led to it routinely issuing threats to its neighbours.

  9. Mick
    February 24, 2023

    On the one-year anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine, China called for a comprehensive ceasefire and gradually promoted the de-escalation and easing of the war.

    ‘Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control,’ the statement said.

    The plan, issued by the Chinese ministry, also urged the end of Western sanctions imposed on Russia, measures to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities, the establishment of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians, and steps to ensure the export of grain after disruptions caused global food prices to spike.
    That is the only way the war is going to cease around a negotiation table like it or not it’s the only way, the British government had to do it with the IRA for the Good Friday agreement it’s as to be done for world peace and stability

  10. MPC
    February 24, 2023

    I would like to hear a leading UK politician advocate peace negotiations. That should aim for legal protection of the interests and rights of ethnic Russians living in the South of Ukraine. It would also serve UK interests. Are there no leading Labour politicians anymore willing to challenge the conventional narrative?

  11. Cuibono
    February 24, 2023

    So have they had an investigation into the blowing up of the Nord Stream gas pipe then? Or taken any notice of Hersh’s investigation…I expect they just dismissed it?
    I would have thought that in our wonderful, technological, global world it would be very important to uncover who has attacked installations. Who has such motivation.
    But then, the west no longer does morality or integrity or anything much worth having.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      February 25, 2023

      Hersh has a fine reputation, and I’ve enjoyed a couple of his books, but his latest accusations, if submitted in an essay at university, would earn him an ‘F’. Who blew up the pipelines? This former naval officer (and Columbo fan) would be looking at …………………………………… the gas-supply contract wording.

    2. Alison Phillips
      February 27, 2023

      No way should we have WW3 over Ukraine. We need a ceasefire – why should working class young men die in the mud for old rich Men. The jingoism on both sides is like WW1 – all sides wanting a fight and too proud to stand down this is not WW2 it’s more WW1 with nuclear weapons. I am the great grandaughter of a lucky working class kid who survived the WW1 trenches – my other great great uncles & cousins were slaughtered so Rich Old Men could be satisfied they were facing down the “Evil Hun”.Those that want Ukraine to fire weapons into Russian territory miltary bases should be forcibly conscripted into the Ukraine Army now (Boris & Joe Biden should be first – lead from the front like our ancient Kings did). Sanctions have resulted in BRICS and Arab countries doing more direct trade without using the US dollar – so sanctions are a waste of time. There will be a US presidential election soon with both sides “squaring up to Putin and China”. My bet is, 6 mths after US election BBC will change focus, there will be a DMZ in SE Ukraine, country permanently divided. It will be like all the other disputed regions in the world e.g. Pakistan/India borders, India / China borders, North/South Cyprus, and don’t get me started on African countries or the Middle East! So my view is tell Zelensky more weapons (& money for his civil service’s & army’s wage bill) is conditional on a ceasefire now.

  12. agricola
    February 24, 2023

    NATO should continue it’s support. My instinct is to supply the Ukrainian soldiers on the ground with the means, as far as possible, hand held weaponry to combat armour, helicopters and aircraft. The logistics of state of the art combat aircraft are possibly too great a challenge. Possibly the greatest aid we can supply is real time intelligence from our satellite assets.
    A peace settlement should involve the withdrawal of all russian assets from Ukraine including the Crimea. Then UN conducted elections in all border provinces that linguistically and ethnically have russian leanings. Let the people decide whose umbrella they wish to live under, then re-draw the border. Assuming that Putin does not survive this, consider a “Marshall Plan” for both sides and the resumption of normal relationships.

  13. Sakara Gold
    February 24, 2023

    The Ukraine is bravely fighting one of the superpowers for it’s freedom and independence. A coalition of ~50 countries have supported them with ordnance, materiel and training, led by the Americans, Germany and ourselves, so this is already a world war. Too much treasure has been expended for us to capitulate and give Russia the eastern Ukrainian lands that it covets; they must also be forced from the Crimea

    Russia must not be allowed to seize the territory of a neighbouring state by force. They were defeated in the Cold War and were forced to withdraw from eastern europe as a result. Previously enslaved countries, fearful for their independence, have joined NATO. Finland and Sweden (previously neutral) have applied to join; they are being prevented from doing so by another megalomaniac

    The UK has provided £billions in military aid to Ukraine including some of our precious main battle tanks, self propelled guns, multiple launch rocket systems, air defence systems, ammunition etc. Sunak, who has no interest in defence whatsover, is forcing the military to provide this equipment from their recent defence settlement. This, along with inflation is eroding the fighting power of the Army to unacceptable levels. Our NATO allies have expressed serious concerns at our ability to meet our obligations.

    The only thing that Russia respects is strength. We must rebuild the Army and properly fund the defence of the realm. A way must be found to forcibly stop the MoD from wasting more £billions on cock-ups like AJAX; I have suggested in the past that we should only buy battle proven equipment off the shelf. There have been too many cuts in defence capability to pay for their profligate wastage and incompetence

  14. Richard1
    February 24, 2023

    The only principles which can be used in the modern world to determine rightful borders are those of democracy and self-determination. Accordingly at some point resolution can only come by a free vote of the people in disputed areas. But this cannot happen until there has been a ceasefire and withdrawal of forces, and will require international supervision so people can make their choice without threat and can be confident that the result is fairly determined.

    Putin will probably not accept such a solution as having seen what the Russian regime is actually like, Russian-Ukrainians will be likely to vote to remain in Ukraine, potentially including even in Crimea. China would of course hate the idea that democracy determines such a question, they don’t want that principle applied in Taiwan (or China).

    In the absence of that unfortunately the only alternative is to keep supporting Ukraine in the war and make sure we ourselves are properly armed in case of escalation. The govt needs a radical look not only at the total defence budget but how it’s deployed.

    Nor must we neglect to hunt down and prosecute perpetrators of war crimes in the decades to come. Right to the top of the Russian regime, no-one must be immune from facing the consequences of their terrible crimes, as happened after WW2 (at least for the Germans and `Japanese if not the Russians).

  15. David Frank Paine
    February 24, 2023

    Suggest NATO needs to relax the rules just a little to allow Ukraine to eliminate Russian units based on Russian soil that are firing missiles across the border.
    Ukraine should be supported in taking back all the territory it held prior to 2014 as the price of Russian aggression.
    The Archbishop of Canterbury has a point about not crushing Russia after Ukraine win, in light of experience from 1919 with Germany. Nevertheless, reparations need to be made – suggest unarmed Russian conscripts should be sent in to clear up the mess they have made and then sent home.
    Putin is Russia’s problem so best leave it to them. Toppling Saddam Hussein left a power vacuum in Iraq that unleashed yet more mayhem.

  16. Alan Paul Joyce
    February 24, 2023

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    NATO should immediately appoint Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury as its new Secretary General. He seems to know much about how to prosecute the war in Ukraine and pursue a lasting peace with Russia as he pontificates in the papers today.

  17. Cuibono
    February 24, 2023

    Whoever brokers peace, if this war ever ends ( and do the powers want it to?) let us hope that it isn’t FAIR along the usual rubbish lines of the Tory interpretation of FAIR?? (= huge move leftwards, in love with wokery and sod the indigenous population).
    FAIR is a very loaded word employed to mask the reality of what is actually happening.
    Isn’t everyone utterly sick of FAIR by now?
    Hasn’t it got us into enough trouble?

  18. Jules
    February 24, 2023

    More NATO BS. Why don’t you call out the US and Norway attack on the Nordstream pipeline?

    1. Billy Elliot
      February 24, 2023

      But Russians said it was British…

  19. ASHLEY
    February 24, 2023

    Grim and very sad indeed with no end in sight.

    Meanwhile Sunak and the government encourage even more economic migrants to get on RIBs by fast tracking many of them here already. The complete reverse of one of his five promises made only weeks ago.

  20. Ian B
    February 24, 2023

    “A grim anniversary”, and the Leader of the Church of England hits the media stating that the aggressor mustn’t be humiliated.

    Maybe lets encourage Putin to invade all his neighbours to appease the Archbishop and his faith

    1. Philip P.
      February 25, 2023

      Suppose the head of the Russian Orthodox Church were to remind us next month of the grim 20th anniversary of our unprovoked attack on Iraq. We were responsible for the destruction of a country and untold civilian deaths, not to mention all the Iraqi children born with birth defects thanks to our use of depleted uranium. I wonder if Archbishop Wellby would have anything to say about that anniversary.

  21. Berkshiore Alan
    February 24, 2023

    Yes all very worrying, yet we still reduce our own armed forces, lesson not learnt from two World Wars and Countless other conflicts.
    Our Politicians want to talk big, but have little to back it up with other than hope.
    Politicians make wars for others to suffer and eventually settle.
    Without America NATO is Useless.
    Nothing will be settled until Putin has gone !
    The worry is who will replace him ?

  22. Berkshire Alan
    February 24, 2023

    There is a popular saying:
    “Good quality high fences, make for good neighbours”
    Our Country has the advantage of a large moat, but the fence is in very poor condition where it exists at all.
    Thus we also have a problem with an infiltration of unknown squatters, whilst those in charge lack the willpower to do anything about it.
    Perhaps we should try and control our own borders first, before lecturing others.

  23. Bettersaid
    February 24, 2023

    First of all I have to say we are lucky we have not got Trump in charge in the US because if he were? – I don’t think NATO would be the same.

    What NATO should do? – It should keep supplying Ukraine with the weapons and technology it needs so that Ukraine can mount a successful counter offensive – they need first of all to be able to push the Russians out of the Donbas and Eastern Ukraine. Then as a settlement to the war –

    1/ let the Russians have Crimea but keep the bosphorus straits closed off to Russian warships –
    the Treaty of Montreux 1936 can provide for this.

    2/ Ukraine to join the EU if it so wishes

    3/ Consideration also given to Ukraine to join NATO at a later date if it requests

    4/ War reparations for damage to life and property to be calculated and applied.

    5/ Sanctions already in place on Russia to remain until reparations are met or at least well underway

    6/ A Good Friday Belfast type solution to be allowed for the people of the Donbas – so that the people can have nationality of Russia or Ukraine, or both if they so wish but under Ukraine sovereignty – sovereignty of this region can be decided at a later date supervised by the UN

    7/ Russian war leaders including Putin to be tried in the ICC – as absentees if necessary –
    the important thing is that war crimes and crimes against humanity should be recorded for posterity.

  24. Bryan Harris
    February 24, 2023

    There are just so many assumptions around the Russian invasion that are fake news, it is unbelievable that so many people have swallowed the distorted establishment view.

    The insanity of all of this is that:
    – the war would have been over long ago, if only the West had been willing to talk;
    – nobody in government, although they must be aware, are admitting that the war started because NATO pushed Russia too far as well as the fact that Russian people in Ukraine were being killed by Ukrainian forces;
    – neither officials nor MSM are telling the facts, certainly they play up PUTIN as the evil monster, while ignoring the evils done by Ukrainians. Being biased is too small a word, for the lies being told.

    Given our economic standing, just why are we providing arms, and spending vast sums in trying to keep the war going? If NATO and the West were serious about peace, they would have let this conflict fizzle out months ago, but for some reason they want it all to continue.
    They should know that if they push Russia too far, then China will join with Russia to support them, and nobody would like that!

    1. Zorro
      February 24, 2023

      Another good one….. but Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for peace guarantees in the early 1990s…. More nonsense, it was the USSR that had nuclear weapons in various parts of the old Soviet Union. They never belonged to Ukraine, and Ukraine had no means of maintaining either them or the security of the weapons!


  25. formula57
    February 24, 2023

    “What would you like NATO to do next?

    Conform to British war aims – and those ought to be to see Ukraine act as a dagger at Putin’s throat (on the grounds he is operating a kleptocracy that oppresses the Russian people and is also a threat to international peace and security) whilst contemporaneously being a thorn in the EU’s side and keeping the USA pre-occupied. The UK should of course never become militarily involved.

    “What kind of a peace would be fair?”

    Who can say? Clearly, it would be disappointing to see Russian aggression rewarded but it is hard to see how the Ukraine of 2021 or even 2014 can be restored in full.

  26. Norman
    February 24, 2023

    Defence of the realm is legitimate, but I wonder if the West is still thinking in 20th century terms, and treating Putin as Hitler. This war has the potential to escalate disastrously. Putin is a Russian and one needs to understand the Russian psyche, which so affects the geopolitics of that most seismic area of the world around the Black Sea. If we don’t stop now, where will it end? This silly game will lead to thousands if not millions being killed worldwide, including many women and children. Do you or I want that in our name, Sir John? All so unnecessary, and utter madness (on top of all the other madnesses we already have emanating from Westminster and Washington). Where are the statesmen who will address this with the firm, conciliatory, humane wisdom it requires? Sadly, it seems there are none!

  27. Bert Young
    February 24, 2023

    NATO must keep the pressure on Putin – hopefully to create his demise ; to do this with the old idiot BIden is going to be difficult ; fingers crossed !.

  28. Michael Cawood
    February 24, 2023

    In my opinion NATO must help Ukraine with its own personnel on the battlefield. Putin MUST be beaten.

    1. Bill B.
      February 24, 2023

      Where’s your nearest nuclear bunker, Michael?

    2. Geoffrey Berg
      February 24, 2023

      I agree

  29. Mark Thomas
    February 24, 2023

    Sir John,
    NATO should be judged by it’s actions, not it’s words.

    It is a great tragedy for the people of Ukraine that the negotiations toward a ceasefire last March/April were not successful. The outcome looked promising until the unexpected arrival of Boris Johnson…

  30. derek
    February 24, 2023

    The USA is currently the largest contributor to the Ukraine war efforts. I am sure the Americans will not want another Vietnam to fund so there will be a limit to their expenditure, either in time or in value of supplied equipment. When that occurs it will herald diminishing support but encourage the Russian to fight on.
    So NATO will require action to accelerate the removal of all Russian military personnel from the country.
    The only way that can be done without NATO actually entering the battlefield is to ensure that Ukrainian forces have the expertise and equipment to eject the invaders.
    However, this is already being carried out as the current policy.
    NATO’s professional military leaders should now devise a battle plan for the Ukraine to overthrow the Russians quickly and drive them out of the country. Provide it to the friendly Government then equip it for the task and maintain strong logistical support throughout the action.
    The time for talking compromise is long past because of the atrocities and war crimes carried out by Russian forces.
    As Winston Churchill once said, “Never surrender” and the Ukrainian government should not accept any ceasefire that allows the Russians to retain any territory within the Ukraine.

  31. Paul
    February 24, 2023

    If NATO doesn´t want a war with Russia why has NATO spend the last few decades expanding towards the Russian border?

    1. hefner
      February 24, 2023

      Has it? After the fall of the Berlin Wall (in October 1989) and the end of the Soviet Union (in December 1991), Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland, entered NATO in March 1999, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in March 2004, Albania, Croatia in April 2009, Montenegro in June 2017 and North Macedonia in March 2020.
      It can be seen as an expansion towards the Russian border but how much is that due to NATO itself or to the governments in these countries getting a mandate via elections to be candidate to enter the NATO.
      Given that the processus took, as you pointed out, about four decades to include 10 more countries, is that the result of the NATO entity pushing to the East (in which case you would have to answer another question: who within NATO is doing the push? the SG? the Brussels HQ? the military top brass in some countries? …) or simply of governments realising (as Sweden’s and Finland’s are presently doing) they might be better within the Alliance than out?

      1. Paul
        February 26, 2023

        George F. Kennan called the expansion of NATO into Central Europe “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era” i.e NATO expansion was American policy

  32. forthurst
    February 24, 2023

    The artificial territory of modern Ukraine was created out of the Czarist empire by the Bolshevik mass murderers under Lenin as a soviet socialist republic consisting of Ukrainian farmers and Russian industrialists in the South East. The people of these regions had little in common. Khrushchev subsequently transferred Crimea into the mix. It was inevitable that when the Soviet Union collapsed that Ukraine would split up despite a period when it attempted to operate as a unitary state. The US State department’s support for those to the West of the Dnieper who historically aligned with Nazi Germany to crush the determination of the those in the South East to enjoy self-determination has brought us to where we are now.

    The Tory Party does not have an independent foreign policy; it automatically aligns itself with whatever policy emanates from the US State Department. This has cost us in blood and treasure over the years with no benefit to us or the people we have attacked. The Tories have given our weapons stocks to Ukraine and have decided we should all pay much more to the USA for their gas in order to bolster their war with Russia in its self-appointed role as world hegemon.

    1. Zorro
      February 24, 2023

      Remember forthurst – we are Airstrip One! Our glorious sacrifices to help the brave soldiers on the Malabar Front will ensure the everlasting success of INGSOC!


      1. Zorro
        February 24, 2023

        Oh sorry, I better watch out PREVENT may flag me up as a potential right wing extremist because I have made reference to 1984! God forbid they find out I read Brave New World too! Or worse still ‘Great British Railway Journeys’!



  33. Wokinghamite
    February 24, 2023

    The war is costing us a packet and we aren’t even at war. I would say peace is an attractive proposition. In any agreement, both sides would need to save face and that means Russia having more territory than when the war began. That may be negotiable, but I don’t know how we could get any reliable assurance about Russian aggression in the future, which I suspect is one of the biggest headaches for NATO.

    1. Gareth Warren
      February 24, 2023

      Can you name the people you would be happy to force to live under Russian rule?

      That’s the problem.

      Personally I think as well as an extensive demilitarised zone around Ukraine there should be votes in surrounding Russian territories to ensure all approve of the border similar to what happened after WW1 in Denmark, same for Finland.

      1. Zorro
        February 24, 2023

        Those who voted to live under Russian rule


  34. John Downes
    February 24, 2023

    Putin should do what Biden did in Afghanistan……. Declare a victory and then withdraw.

  35. XY
    February 24, 2023

    1. NATO must not be seen to be involved in this war except to consider how it will react as a defensive alliance if one of its members is attacked or otherwise affected by Russian aggressive actions (from violation of airspace, to nuclear dust blowing across its territory, to downright invasion).

    Some NATO member countries are supporting Ukraine – some are not. They are doing so in theior own right, not as members of NATO.

    Stoltenberg needs to be seen to limit his involvement to that brief.

    2. There should be no restriction on Ukraine attacking Russian territory with weapons supplied by its friends (note: not “NATO” but friends and perhaps allies, some of which happen to members of the defensive pact known as NATO)…

    When Russia started long-range bombardment of civilians from Russian territory it opened the door to reprisals – on human rights grounds if nothing else – although the military logic of hitting such targets is overwhelming.

    The constraints, if such there must be, should be that Ukraine can only use weapons from other countries to hit targets inside Russia that are directly involved in the attack on Ukraine (i.e. missile launching sites, any airfields from which air strikes are launched, ammunition depots etc).

    1. hefner
      February 24, 2023

      XY, +1

  36. ChrisS
    February 24, 2023

    Like all dictators, Putin can only survive by achieving constant success. Any failure to take the whole of Ukraine is likely to result in him losing power through an internal coup, and he knows it.

    Ukraine might just be persuaded to negotiate a return to 2021 borders, but, given the immense Russian losses in manpower and equipment, that would be seen as a defeat and utter humiliation for Putin which he could not survive and he knows it.

    That being the case, the West would be best to go ahead and rapidly provide everything Ukraine needs to win, including taking back Crimea. That means fighter jets and long-range heavy missiles. The Kerch Bridge is a case in point. It is such a symbol for Putin, he having had it built, opened (and reopened it) with such a fanfare, that it is hard to see how he could carry on if Ukraine were to destroy it completely. That should be Ukraine’s number one target and just might put an end to Putin and the war.

    1. R.Grange
      February 25, 2023

      In your dreams, Chris. According to Mossad, Ukraine has lost nine times more killed in action than Russia. If this continues, there can only be one outcome. That is why France, Germany and Italy are now encouraging Kiev to negotiate.

  37. Fedupsouthener
    February 24, 2023

    War is never a good thing. The Chinese have said a peaceful settlement is the best thing. Putin will never give in. He cant be seen as weak and we cant be sure of decisions of anyone else should he succumb to his illness. Unless there are constructive talks this war could go on for years. There will be nothing left of Ukraine and if it should escalate it will be utterly catastrophic for the West. We need a peaceful solution and fast.

  38. Gareth Warren
    February 24, 2023

    It is a grim anniversary, but on the positive side I believe we have discovered in the Ukrainian side a people we can forge a successful friendship with that will prosper both nations cultures and economies.

    I don’t agree with preventing NATO weapons from being fired into Russia as I believe Ukraine must shoot at anyone who attacks it. But we must insist on only military targets and that Ukraine holds the high ground morally in the way it fights and treats prisoners.

    Lastly, while I believe Ukraine are winning I am not sure they will win this year. But consider Poland, they are aggressively rearming with the best weapons available, now imagine their population being told their army has 3000 tanks, 500 HIMAR’s but at the same time they should stand idly by while Russia shells and rockets civilians next door. That is not a stable situation.

    To me the logic is inevitable that once ready Poland will likely be drawn into the fighting, like previously with the winged hussars they likely will then rout Russia but it all gets very dangerous after that. It would be best though that Russia is cleanly defeated by Ukraine first.

    1. Zorro
      February 24, 2023

      How do you define the current situation as Ukraine winning?? Do you know what their casualties are?


  39. outsider
    February 24, 2023

    Dear Sir John,
    It is depressing to read so many comments here from those happy to leave Ukrainians to their fate and to blame them for their nation’s demise. They no doubt echo the rightist calls in 1939-40, for the UK not to intervene on the Continent from those who laid the blame for war on Anglo-French posing and Czech/Polish intransigence and intolerance. Even more does it echo the millions of Americans, between August 1939 and December 1941, who wanted nothing to do with what was going on in Europe and had little sympathy with those caught up in it. Thank goodness they did not prevail. Let us hope such voices do not prevail now.

  40. outsider
    February 24, 2023

    Dear Sir John, In answer to your questions;
    1) Nato should strenghten the defence of its affected members and two candidate members vigorously but play no role in supporting Ukraine. That should be left to individual countries and/or the EU. A year ago, I would not have believed that Sweden, whose neutrality was embedded in its national culture, would apply to join Nato. It is a measure of the threat in the world if a new aggressive Fascist empire conquered Ukraine, soon to be followed by China eliminating Taiwan and two decades of aggressive wars round the world.
    2) There is no fair peace on offer, because a fair peace involves a compromise in which each side gains and loses something, as in the Good Friday Agreement of blessed memory. This is not a war between countries but the attempted conquest of one by another. Peace is only available on the short run if Ukraine is vanquished and removed from the map.
    The Iraq-Iran war lasted eight years in which A invaded B and then B counter-invaded A until they had fought each other to a standstill. The “fair peace” was therefore for each to return to the status quo ante. This would not be acceptable to Russia which has not seen any fighting on its own territory.
    We can imagine what might have been “fair” before the invasions. Perhaps Russia buys Crimea and pays a large sum to Ukraine for the privilege. Perhaps Ukraine remains neutral for X years if Belarus does the same. And so on. But that is not possible now. What the appeasers want today is for a Marshal Petain to accept a negotiated surrender and turn a rump Ukraine into Vichy France. Fair?

  41. Joey Vimsante
    February 28, 2023

    I beg for peace between Ukraine and Russia. I beg for peace in the European Union, the USA, Canada, China, Africa, India, Australia, Brazil and the Middle East.
    We need peace, human rights and democracy.
    Ukraine needs peace. Russia needs to give peace to Ukraine.
    Russia needs to respect the ordinary people and brave soldiers of Ukraine.

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