Masala at Maischberger: "The West must become more unpredictable"

Military expert Carlo Masala does not believe that the war in Ukraine can be ended through negotiations at the moment.

Masala at Maischberger: "The West must become more unpredictable"

Military expert Carlo Masala does not believe that the war in Ukraine can be ended through negotiations at the moment. With "Maischberger" on ARD, he recommends a new strategy for western countries. As far as sanctions against Russia are concerned, the EU still has arrows in its quiver.

Military expert Carlo Masala recommends that western countries take a new approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine war. As far as arms deliveries are concerned, the West has reached a certain point, says the political scientist, who conducts research at the Bundeswehr University. Both NATO and the US would discuss how long they can continue to supply arms to Ukraine. The West still taboos deliveries of battle tanks and short-range missiles. That's why Masala demands: "Maybe it's time that we became more unpredictable towards the Russians."

So far, the military alliance has only limited the Russians on two points: they will resist the use of nuclear weapons or a Russian attack on a member state. Masala believes that NATO must itself set limits for the Russian leadership in Ukraine. For example, the Western military alliance could threaten to supply Ukraine with short-range missiles if the Russian army continues to bombard strategic infrastructure in the country. The European Union has not yet exhausted all possibilities to take action against Russia. For example, you could take over Gazprom Bank. "Or she could say, 'We're kicking you out of the Swift. These are things we haven't threatened yet.' Swift is an organization that enables particularly secure international banking transactions.

At the moment, the war in Ukraine cannot be ended through negotiations. "And the longer the war lasts, the more the cohesion of the West will crumble," says Masala, describing the current danger. For the expert, there is only one way to clear the way for possible peace negotiations: "By equipping Ukraine so that it is able to recapture even more territory, so that Russia realizes that holding the remaining territory is far too expensive demands too many victims and ties up too many resources, so that Russia then withdraws completely from Ukraine. That would be desirable."

Russia's President Putin cannot afford to lose this war at the moment. "But he can't win militarily for much longer," said Masala. That's why he needs a break now to strengthen his army. Putin is currently counting on that.

The liberation of the city of Kherson was an important victory for the Ukrainian army, but not a turning point in the war, Masala said. Kherson was the only capital of an area that the Russian army was able to capture, he explains. "But we see that the Russian army has withdrawn in an orderly fashion and is now digging in south of the Dnieper River." A second mobilization may be imminent in Russia, and munitions factories are running at full speed, according to Masala. His conclusion: "The Russians are now trying to get through the winter, and they will probably start a new offensive near Cherson in the spring to recapture the city."

Masala calls the idea that the Ukrainian army could completely drive the Russians out of Ukraine "illusory." The capture of Crimea alone would involve such a great effort for the Ukrainians that they would have to weaken other strategically important positions, and there the Russian army could attack. She is currently trying to "bomb Ukraine back to the Stone Age" by shelling strategically important infrastructure, according to the expert. That is why tougher action by the West against Russia is so important.

Former Russian UN diplomat Boris Bondarev would also like to see more support from the West for Ukraine. Bondarev protested against the Russian attack on Ukraine in May and then left the diplomatic service. Today he is hiding from the regime in Moscow. He says to Maischberger: "The war isn't just about Ukraine. It's about you, the West, the rule-based world order. Putin wants to redesign the global map. If the West were tired of the war and stopped supporting Ukraine , that would be your defeat too."

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