(breitbart) – Thoughts are turning to the end of the Ukraine war in some European capitals and how “justice” is to be meted out to Russian leaders, with suggestions from top political figures in recent days ranging from war crimes trials to Ukrainian tanks parked in Moscow’s Red Square.
Military ambitions for how to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took a considerable leap forward this week with comments attributed to Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov who spoke of “justice” in the form of troops marching on Moscow.
The remarkable comments from Danilov were reported in the British high-circulation tabloid The Sun, which claimed an interview with the Ukranian politician and relayed him as saying: “Our tanks will be on Red Square and that will be justice.
“We didn’t start this war. We didn’t call them here. They invaded our territory, killed our women, our children, the elderly and civilians.”
Whether Danilov was articulating actual Ukrainian policy to push the front line 300 miles back to Moscow, or if he was speaking metaphorically, or exaggerating for effect is not made clear in the Sun report. Breitbart News has approached the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for clarification.
Should Kyiv envision a march on the river Moskva or not, a NATO member state prime minister has certainly called for post-war repercussions for Russia’s present leaders this week. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference Estonia’s Kaja Kallas said Moscow must be held to account and discussed changes for the Russian people, which could imply a Western occupation of Russia, or at the very least the end of the Russian state as we now know it.
Calling for action that she compared to the 1945-47 Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals, Prime Minister Kallas said after the Second World War and Cold War, citizens of former Axis powers and former Soviet Bloc nations had a chance to learn about the crimes of their former leaders, but this had never happened in Russia itself. Talking about the education of Russian citizens and “re-written” history books, Kallas said education in that country was still from “Soviet” textbooks and this would have to change in a post-war world.
She said: “accountability is of the utmost importance for the crimes of aggression, and also to have the understanding within Russian society, and also contemplation. Without that, I don’t think [long-term peace] is possible.” To prevent future Russian wars, Kallas said, “we have to cut the cycle” by ending Russian imperialistic dreams, and that “I don’t think there can be any relations as usual with a pariah state that hasn’t really given up the imperialistic goals”.
This went way beyond a question of a Russian future with or without Putin, she said, and that the changes would have to be deeper. Kallas, who is well known for being bullish on Russia, told the audience at the conference that: “it’s the nation, and what is in it. What are they celebrating? Being the empire or not? We have to cut the cycle.”
While Kallas did not explicitly call for a Western military occupation of Russia, the examples given — Nuremberg, Tokyo, and the re-building of Germany and Japan as modern democracies after being totalitarian, belligerent states — did require total military victory and long-term occupation, a link others quickly made after her remarks were broadcast.
While the West’s military support for Ukraine initially came predominantly in the form of defensive arms — most famously in weapons like modern guided anti-tank munitions in the early part of the war — the latest phase has seen a sudden acceleration in the provision of weapons well suited to the offence as well. Several nations are now providing main battle tanks, “longer range weapons” are now being sent, and the giving of fighter jets is discussed daily and seems all but certain.
For Russia’s part, President Vladimir Putin, himself, appears to have engaged in a shift of rhetoric recently, possibly realising that having started a war that could end with him facing a war crimes tribunal has become an existential threat to his leadership. As Breitbart News reports on Tuesday, Putin addressed the nation in his annual state of the nation speech and called Ukrainian President Zelensky a “neo-Nazi”, blamed the West for the war, and said, “The Western elite does not conceal their goal, which is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. It means to finish us forever and grow a local conflict into global opposition”.