“Vladimir Putin’s plot to freeze Ukraine into submission looks destined to fail”

London street scene

“The obvious aim is sap morale and force Ukraine to negotiate – but so far, it’s having quite the reverse effect. As far as opinion polls can ascertain, Ukrainian public opinion is to keep fighting until every inch of Ukrainian territory is reclaimed – Crimea very much included. If Zelensky were to negotiate a deal, there’s a good chance he’d be deposed by a country whose people kicked out a president in the 2014 Maidan revolution. Ukrainians’ determination to see the winter through is, it seems, absolute. But this may very well mean evacuating chunks of the country and perhaps creating a second wave of refugees.

Putin has long pinned his hopes on the winter to hurt both Ukraine and her Western allies. Turning off Russia’s gas exports was intended to send energy prices soaring, especially in Germany, which had become dependent on Moscow’s imports and had no Plan B. “Better a cold shower than Putin’s gas,” read the placards from German protesters in February – but when the time came, would they be willing to make the trade?

Since then, Germany has made near-miraculous progress in finding other energy sources and floating terminals to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). The first gas ship “Neptune”, big enough to supply two million households, reached the island of Rügen on Wednesday. Several more such ships are on the way. When Germany said it wanted its national gas storage 95 per cent full by November, it looked a laughably optimistic target. But it was achieved three weeks early. Its reserves, now, are 99 per cent full.

Rather than a gas shortage, Europe now has LNG ships loitering around Gibraltar without enough storage capacity for them to unload. Wholesale gas prices are less than half their recent peak and, crucially, prices next year now look to be about half what was feared in August. The UK energy price bailout – whose expected £10 billion-a-month cost helped sink Liz Truss’s government – may never have been needed, certainly not to the same extent. Europe faces a very tough winter. But, now, an endurable one.

Markets have done their work, helped by a warm November. Price signals dampened demand and increased supply – in ways economists did not expect. Wholesale food prices are now falling, raising hopes of inflation falling fast next year. In several important regards, Putin’s Cold War strategy looks set to fail in Western Europe. The question is how much damage he may inflict in Ukraine.

For the past few weeks, Ukraine has grown adept at repairing the missile damage, so power plants can get up and running – limiting outages to just two or three days. But then, missiles strike again. Most are intercepted but Ukraine’s air defence is not complete, and Moscow is getting better at finding weak spots and cheap Iranian drones are enabling Russian attacks to break through by sheer force of numbers. This bomb-and-repair strategy could keep being played all winter. So rather than just have a few days of outages, it’s plausible Ukrainians go for weeks, or months, without power or water.”

Comment: The Telegraph is not a “tabloid.” pl

Vladimir Putin’s plot to freeze Ukraine into submission looks destined to fail (telegraph.co.uk)

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49 Responses to “Vladimir Putin’s plot to freeze Ukraine into submission looks destined to fail”

  1. Kilo 4/11 says:

    One cold winter will not break the Ukrainians. Even Solzhenytsyn, who thought of Ukraine as part of Russia, conceded that Ukrainians will “never give up the fight for freedom”.

    Translation was up yesterday but is gone now.

    • Leith says:

      Solzhenitzyn, May 1994, per Wikiquote: “I myself am nearly half Ukrainian. I grew up with the sounds of Ukrainian speech. I love her culture and genuinely wish all kinds of success for Ukraine–but only within her real ethnic boundaries, without grabbing Russian provinces. …”

      What he considered to be Russian provinces were Crimea and the Donbas.

      • cobo says:

        According to Professor Timothy Snyder, the first documented inhabitants of Ukraine were Greeks and Jews. I learned about this course, available free on YouTube, through our own Twisty Genius. Besides just learning a lot, the professor helps to break through this “argument” about “who, what” Russia claims. That seems to be a sticking point Bill Roche in his comments gets us part way through.

        Another interesting look into the Russian mind is this:
        What is behind Alexander Dugin’s “Russian world”?

      • Bill Roche says:

        I read Ivan Denisyovitch and the Archipelago while on duty in Fkt. I thought it appropriate being w/V Corps, Fulda, Warsaw Pact and all. Solhenytsen was a literary hero for me. Until I read his remarks about Ukrainians that is. “Yeah I just love me dose Ukies. Good food, pretty women, and some of them are my friends, honest, yeah, I got me some Ukrainian friends. And I wish em da best; as long as they keep their place and don’t get all uppity!” What many correspondents don’t realize is that is also the opinion of many European Russians. I don’t know a single Asiatic Russian. Does anyone know how they feel about being sent west to kill Ukrainians?

        • Leirh says:

          His mother was Ukrainian.

          • Bill Roche says:

            I hope his mother knew/kept her place in his father’s Russian household.

          • borko says:


            Here’s a few Solzhenitsyn quotes for you:

            “Ukraine and Russia are merged in my blood, in my heart, and in my thoughts”.

            “In my heart, there is no place for a Russo-Ukrainian conflict, and if, God forbid, things get to the extreme, I can say: Never, under no circumstances, will either I or my sons join in a Russo-Ukrainian clash, no matter how some hotheads may push us towards one.”

            “The time has come for an uncompromising choice between an empire of which we ourselves are the primary victims and the spiritual and physical salvation of our own people.”

        • cobo says:

          This nutcase crazy world (read the latest Tom Cooper at https://medium.com/@x_TomCooper_x/ukraine-war-26-november-2022-629e2e899806) is the gift of Davos and the UN. They had a plan, a stoopid plan and Pooteen has been the front runner. The Eastern European won’t lose to the soviet nor its globalist brethren. The Eastern European will lead Western Civilization through this dark passage. I’m just here watching, wish I had a dog in the fight.

        • Mark Logan says:


          The war seems very unpopular to most Russians, indeed the reported reaction to news Putin had invaded was met with significant incredulity. I suspect that lack of public support for this war within Russia to be one of the main paths this war could be ended. Hope so, anyway.

          Aside: Hedrick Smith wrote a great book on Russia of the 70s. For whatever reason the Russians trusted Hedrick and gave him a lot of access, including several private interviews with Solzhenitsyn. It was there he came understand Solzhenitsyn was first and foremost a Russian patriot. This was something the Russians seemed to understand and that was the reason Solzhenitsyn was granted so much leeway. They really, really didn’t want to throw him back into the Gulag or exile him because they loved him. There was room in their minds that a man could utterly detest Marxism and Stalinism but still be a Russian patriot. It was said that Solzhenitsyn considered the worst thing that ever happened to him was being exiled. Remarkable for a guy who spent time in the Gulag. A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma applies here.

        • Kilo 4/11 says:

          My point in bringing up A.S. was to show that even such a dyed in the wool Russophile knew of and respected the Ukrainian passion for independence and their willingness to sacrifice for it.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Courtesy of Borko’s post, it is gratifying to see that Solhenytsen understood Russians themselves have been (or at least the average Russian) victim to the myth of Empire. What did the regular guy ever get out of it? Acceptance of Ukrainian independence releases the average Russian to be, well, just Russian; isn’t that good enough. I think not for the progeny of the old Boyar class. Imagine the guy/gal in Moscow’s streets saying “free at last, free at last. Thank God we are finally free at last”. It would be a better Russia.

  2. Whitewall says:

    In addition to the Telegraph:
    “The systems and government are the enemy”.

    • Fred says:


      I’m surprised the author of that piece did not simply click on Telegraph author Fraser Nelson’s name and bring up his piece from two weeks ago: “https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/11/10/millions-benefits-dont-need-mass-migration-boost-gdp/”

      Apparently the UK has an unemployment problem along with a mass “migration” (shocked they finally used that word) problem.

  3. James Jordan says:

    Wait until China re-opens

  4. Bill Roche says:

    Even Solhenytsen, who believed Ukraine to be “part of” (WTF does that mean, part of, belongs to? owned by? subject to?) Russia said Ukrainians will never give up their fight for independence. Why? Perhaps Americans have forgotten what drove them in ’75. I am not naive. I understand that merchant class interests, Tory values, frontiersman needs, and yeo man were not the same. But there was “something” (but the Tory) which resonated throughout America no matter one’s class or station. Listen to a Virginian (a libertarian BTW) explain what drives men for independence …
    “what is it gentleman wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. Forbid it Almighty God forbid it. I know not what course other man may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death”.
    After 100 years of fighting to be free of Russia, Ukrainians too want to “belong to” no one else. Why can’t men accept that an unhindered state for Italy, England, France, Spain, Poland, even Ireland and Israel is ok, but not for Ukrainians. Why are they less deserving? They don’t think they “belong to” anyone.

  5. Fred says:

    ” Turning off Russia’s gas exports was intended to send energy prices soaring, especially in Germany, which had become dependent on Moscow’s imports and had no Plan B.”

    The Telegraph seems to have forgotten that it was the US/EU that sanctioned Russian gas imports into nations like Germany. It is also EU nations that forbid other member states like Hungary and Italy from importingRussian gas by refusing to allow such gas to transit their territories via pipelines.

    “Out of 43 million Ukranians, eight million have left since the February invasion – and the official government advice for them is to stay away, ….”

    Twenty percent of the population is gone and the government does not want them back?

    • JamesT says:


      Thank you for rectifying the Telegraph’s attempts to rewrite history. Alas – these attempts to rewrite history will continue.

    • Poul says:


      The Telegraph also forgot that a very large share of the gas in German storage is Russian imported before the Russians closed the pipe lines. The real challenge for the Germans is in 2023. All that Russian gas imported up until August 2022 will not be there in 2023. And they don’t have enough LNG import facilities. So only further reductions in gas use and energy use in general plus increased use of coal etc. will stabilize the energy sector.
      It should be doable but not fun.

    • Poul says:

      German article on the topic of German energy use.


      Total energy use – down 2.7%

      Use of Oil – up 5%
      black coal – up 12%
      brown coal – up 8%
      green energy – up 4%

      gas – down 12%
      nuclear – down 49%

      • Fred says:


        All that talk of using firewood for heating this winter must be disinformation. Along with all those aluminum smelters shutting down; and independent bakeries according to the lady formerly from Bavaria who runs a couple over here in Florida. Maybe it’s only her relatives getting driven out of business due to rising energy costs.

        • Poul says:

          I said “reduction” in energy use. You do that by way of market prices. High prices squeeze out the least valuable part of economic activity. It increases cost awareness.

          That aluminium smelters, independent bakers etc close down due to energy cost is precisely what gives you the reduction.

          There is no permanent damage or such.

          You can import aluminium from abroad, buy industrial produced bread etc until the problem of building new energy infrastructure has been fixed.

          All it takes is time, but as mentioned it’s not fun. But it is doable.

      • Fred says:


        “High prices squeeze out the least valuable part of economic activity. It increases cost awareness.” …. “There is no permanent damage or such.”

        Germany is destroying their middle class with this policy. But at least the oligarchic industries and government employees won’t be losing their power, that being much more essential than ownership of small businesses or the liberty of those who still have personal savings.

        Good luck.

        • Poul says:

          Fred, the only way you would destroy the German middle class is if it was a permanent energy crisis.

          We are talking of about four years to built new energy infrastructure and convert gas furnaces to oil or coal etc.
          Then normalcy will return. Yes the energy price will be higher but then do as Denmark did after the 1973 Oil Crisis.

          Subsidize investments in energy efficiency. New insulation requirements for new buildings. Help to improve insulation in old buildings etc.

          The Danish middle class got through it and is doing fine.

          And I have no doubt that the sectors of the German economy closed down by the energy costs will return again when Germany have implemented the solutions of replacing Russian gas.

  6. AngryGerman says:

    “Rather than a gas shortage, Europe now has (…)” — to pay so much for its energy that a number of industries are no longer commercially viable.

    “If Zelensky were to negotiate a deal, there’s a good chance he’d be deposed by a country whose people (…)” — elected him in 2019, as a totally-agains-the-odds winner, because he promised to no longer discriminate against Russian Ukrainians and to seek a peaceful, amiable relationship with the Russia.

    The Telegraph is not a “tabloid”, but they’re trying their best to get close to such standards.

    • Pat Lang says:

      What deal do you want Zelensky to accept?

      • William Sparklin says:

        Minsk 1 & 2 would have been a great start.

        • borko says:

          The other day, Poroshenko admitted on video that he only signed those agreements to buy time for Ukraine to build an army.

          Minsk agreements were DOA.

      • Balint Somkuti, PhD says:


        one just cannot rule a country “in business as usual way”, when 25-33% of the population just does not wanna play along.

        Most westerners don’t have the slightest idea about the deeper layers of that conflict.

        Ukrainians were but a branch of Russians until recently, sort of Bavarians to Germans. Current Kiev mayor has become world champion in heavyweight boxing under the name Vladimir, and not Volodymyr as he is called today.

        Ukraine as a country has had no historical borders before 1991 as it was part of Russian Empire, than Soviet Union for centuries. The so called national awakening (or ethnogenesis) of the Ukrainian people is happening just before our eyes, yet Hungarians, Rusins living in Transcarpathia, and what is more important Russians forced to live within its borders are deprived from even their basic rights in this process.

        To sum it up Zelensky should accept that people not wishing to ruled by Ukrainians are free to leave.

        We Hungarians have fought a number of rebellions against foreign occupiers. Probably the most in Europe. Germans, Russians alike. Yet in none of them was the survival of the people taken to such extreme risk as Zelensky does.

        This above is just uncomprihensible for most western people.

        • Kilo 4/11 says:

          What a massively ignorant post. Among many, many errors: Kyivan Rus was an entity with recognized borders for three centuries already when in 1277 the territory formerly known as Suzdal was given the name Moscow, as a subservient vassal region or ‘ulus’ to the Golden Horde, established by the Khan Mengu-Timur; and this was still centuries away from its taking the name “Russia”.
          The national awakening of the Ukrainians is “only now” happening!? Ever heard of Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko? https://www.britannica.com/biography/Taras-Hryhorovych-Shevchenko

          It is after midnight or I would go on …

          • cobo says:

            Kilo 4/11

            As I learn more about the history of Ukraine and Russia it is becoming clear that there is a strong case to be made that the core of Russian propaganda against Ukraine and even its core myth of its identity need to be exposed and defeated. It’s not my fight, but a short, sharp expose about this Moskovian myth, backed by longer, detailed and documented papers, should be produced, promoted and pounded on.

      • AngryGerman says:

        First, I think it is not Zelensky who can call the shots, not even within Ukraine.

        This from 2019, reported by Kyiv Post ( https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/im-not-a-loser-zelensky-clashes-with-veterans-over-donbas-disengagement.html ): “On Oct. 26, President Volodymyr Zelensky locked horns with war veterans in the front-line town of Zolote in Luhansk Oblast. The president was pushing a mutual disengagement of troops and armaments at the front line flashpoint. The veterans opposed this plan.” According to Wikipedia, “All military and security forces, including the Armed Forces, are under the command of the president of Ukraine”; so, a reaction like that is not really what one would expect if Zelensky really was commander-in-chief — and not only theoretically, “pro forma”, as it has been looking like for quite some time. (Video with subtitles here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8YNK7TsQL4 )

        As to “what deal”, I think that ship has sailed. Your assessment of the current situation obviously differs from mine, but I see Ukrainian “huge military successes” only where Russia retreated its personnel beforehand, not after big battles; I see Ukraine’s depletion of weapons and ammo and no significant production capacity to replenish, with NATO countries starting to voice concerns over their own stocks running low; I see vast differences in mobilization reserves (lest we forget, Russia has so far only used but a fraction of its armed forces); I see most of Ukraine’s city population living in high-rises with meagre insulation, dependent on electricity for elevators and for pumping water to the upper floors; and I see the public opinion in Russia becoming more and more aggressive towards Ukraine, with main criticism of Putin now being that the war was being conducted not ruthless enough in the beginning, and that Russia should have started this war in 2014 already. (Please note — not my views, just telling what I see).

        From today’s perspective, I think that Minsk would have been a good deal for Ukraine; but I don’t expect any future deal anymore, so for me it’s a moot point what the Ukraine is willing to accept. From now on I expect full Clausewitz: war is “an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will”, and it ends by putting the enemy in a “situation that is even more unpleasant than the sacrifice you call on him to make.”

        Again, Your assessment obviously differs from mine; but the only “deal” I find realistic at this point, independent from what I would wish or not, is a full capitulation of Ukraine, sooner or later.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Deal? What deal is necessary to compel those untermensch Ukrainians to submit to their Russian masters. Every single “group” in Europe has been accepted as a national state but the contemptible Ukrainia. Now, they make life difficult for the rest of Europe. Lesser Slavs, they refuse to accept their place at Russia’s heel. That’s exactly the problem. All Europe has theirs and now Ukraine, finally insists on “its”. How inconvenient of them. When Putin has won they day, as he must, in Ukraine will he be sated? Or will Moldova, Estonia, or Finland beckon? Well, that’s not a German problem.

          • AngryGerman says:

            Bill Roche,

            I thought for a moment that Your comment was misplaced, as its content has exactly zero connections to what I wrote, and brought up topics I did not touch by far. But from Your use of the Nazi word “Untermensch” and reffering to “German problems”, I conclude that You actually wanted me to read that.

            You seem to dislike Germans; I can’t help that. You seem convinced You know what Germans think (I take it that Your comment was meant to “reveal” my “hidden sinister thoughts” or something like that); I’m sure I can’t change that belief either.

            I find it interesting, though, that my stating what realistic options Ukraine has IMO left, would trigger such an outburst. I suspect the reason was that I did not come to the “right” conclusion (that Ukraine will win gloriously) and that therefore in Your eyes I am “pro Russia”?

            If that is so: how do You think to ever get reliable information, if You have a go at anyone who dares to say something You don’t like? Do You (I presume: You don’t) at least occasionally read political and/or military analyses from “the enemy’s side”, be it political and/or militarily? How does one even hope to be informed, let alone make good decisions, without information from multiple sides and multiple viewpoints?

  7. Longarch says:


    I don’t generally trust Newsweek, but there might be some fact behind these shocking allegations.

  8. Whitewall says:

    Yes the UK has that and apparently a labor union problem too.

  9. A. Pols says:

    “Comment: The Telegraph is not a “tabloid.” pl”

    Well, technically it isn’t since its format is that of a regular paper, but its content surely is.

    • Pat Lang says:

      You are just bitching because you don’t like the content.

      • A. Pols says:

        True enough, but I also think much of what the Telegraph prints is false and deliberately so as propaganda tends to be. The British have always been rather good at that.

  10. Klapper says:

    The current December futures price for NGas Dutch hub is 4 times higher than normal for this time of year. This is not a sustainable situation for either individuals or businesses in the EU. The EU got lucky with a warm November and maybe they will get lucky with a warmer than normal winter but their energy prices are still sky high and these prices are destroying the competitiveness of EU manufacturing. At some point I think the Germans will decide they are not going to destroy their economy for Ukraine.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Not intended to offend but merely to reflect; when have the Germans ever done anything to help any one? Ok, no German state b/f 1870 but given 150 years of chances, when do the Germans ever stand up and say “its our turn to help out”?
      They don’t do they. So I am not surprised at your comment about Germans being unwilling to hurt their economy to help Ukrainians. Although Germany sure accepted a lot of help getting their economy rebuilt after WW II.

  11. Whitewall says:

    I don’t know any other way but to ask:
    A week or so ago you gave a link to a series of lectures about the history of Ukraine. There are about a dozen, each nearly an hour long. I have searched your comments the last few days but no luck. If you don’t mind.


  12. Lars says:

    A lot of Europe now see Russia as an existential threat and they have learned from history to not just hope for the best. Thus, they are aiding Ukraine and they also have a lot more to give, if necessary. It appears that the strategy is to slowly bleed Russia until there is not much left and that is rapidly getting close. There are now indications that the sanctions are truly starting to bite, in addition to wasting a lot of money on an unsuccessful military campaign, and the Russian economy is in a free fall and are now at the point where they are unable to reverse this on their own.

  13. Jim S says:

    Musing on the third missive of Fatima.

    My Catholic brethren, fellow believers in Christ, may consider the pagan tale of Royal Oedipus: his parents took measures to forestall prophesied events, but those very measures led to the fulfillment of prophesy. Likewise, measures taken in hope of preventing Russia from nuking the eastern seaboard ensuring that Russia nukes the eastern seaboard would make a fine Greek tragedy. Consider also Jonah, who could not prevent the salvation of Nineveh, but earned himself considerable tribulation in the attempt. Consider further the people of Nineveh, who repented and therefore were saved. The only known method of averting God’s wrath is repentance. For those who place faith in the Word, it is sufficient. Unlike the Greek gods, He is not governed by whimsy.

    On a separate note, remarkable developments in China. At this point extremely unlikely to lead anywhere. I expect Langarch is abreast of them.

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