“Show Putin his fear”
Historian considers Scholz warnings ‘risky’
Military historian Neitzel criticized the Chancellor’s signals to Russian President Putin as “reckless in terms of foreign policy”. According to him, Scholz’s warnings convey “the image of a weak West”. Neitzel assumes the war will last “several years”.
Military historian Sönke Neitzel criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s warnings about an escalation of the Russian war in Ukraine as “reckless in terms of foreign policy, even risky”. “Scholz shows Putin his fear,” the Potsdam military history professor told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “It promotes the image of a weak West. That’s exactly what made Putin dare to go to war in the first place.”
Ukraine’s survival depends on the United States. “If Ukraine had relied on Germany and the EU, now it would be Russia. It has to be said bluntly,” Neitzel said. According to him, the war will last “many more years”. Scholz’s call for a ceasefire is “understandable, but wishful thinking”. Neither side is so weak militarily that it must negotiate to avoid total defeat.
Moscow troops are currently digging into southern Ukraine along the land bridge to Crimea and doing everything in eastern Ukraine to capture and then hold the Donbass regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. In order to move the front line, Ukraine must establish a superiority of at least 3:1 and gain air superiority to cut off Russian supply lines. “I don’t trust the Ukrainian military to do this,” Neitzel said.
“In a few weeks I expect it to slow down and then the front lines will be clear.” From Neitzel’s perspective, Putin’s achievements might be enough for now. “It could be Putin’s strategy to then run into the Russian positions and slowly bleed the enemy.”