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What If Ukraine Wins and Putin Is Removed?    

Russia's Putin Firing AK-74
Then President-elect Vladimir Putin aiming with an AK-74 rifle simulator at an electronic shooting gallery during his visit to the Russian Railways Scientific and Technical Development Center in Moscow's Rizhsky railway station.

What if the current Ukrainian offensive leads to victory? What if Russia eventually accepts that the war is stalemated or lost and removes Vladimir Putin from power? That could bring a rare opportunity to correct Europe’s distorted boundary lines and usher in a decadeslong peace between Russia and the West.

For that to happen, the West must continue to pressure Russia with sanctions and resist the temptation to be too accommodating. Moscow understands that, ultimately, it has two options: resurrecting its ties with Europe or falling into China’s arms. The latter would be a strategic, military, cultural, and religious nightmare. The former should require significant concessions.

Here are the crucial issues:

– Ukrainian reconstruction: The Russian government, businesses, and oligarchs should pay an indemnity of hundreds of billions of dollars to restore the physical damage from the invasion.

– Military restrictions: Russia should be enjoined by treaty from maintaining any military or military-related naval vessels, drones, or military aircraft in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov for 50 years. Russia should also withdraw all its military and paramilitary units and weapons within at least 60 miles from its Western borders, from Finland in the north to Georgia in the south, including the Belarus border. This initiative would be analogous to the disarmed German Rhineland after World War I.

Once Russia has completed these land withdrawals and they have been in place for a few years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should commence a similar withdrawal of its forces away from the Russian border.

– War crimes: Russia must face penalties for its wartime atrocities. It should be required to hand over to Ukrainian courts any Russian soldier or civilian named in a war-crimes indictment and the commanding officer of any Russian military unit identified with a war crime. That goes for mercenaries, too. They have limited rights under international law and can be prosecuted for their battlefield actions. Turning mercenaries over to Ukraine for trial and punishment may deter mercenary service in future conflicts.

– Nuclear weapons: By treaty with NATO, Russia should agree to reduce its nuclear weapons immediately to a number and quality no more significant than those possessed by the U.S. and agree to inspections by NATO to guarantee compliance. Moscow, by treaty, should formally withdraw its threats to employ tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and pledge no first use of nuclear weapons as its new and permanent policy.

– Hacking: Russia should pledge to end hacking against any NATO country and abolish all public and private anti-Western hacking groups.

– Re-education: To ensure the Russian population understands the gravity of its leaders’ crimes and the reasons for the penalties associated with restitution, the Russian government should require newspapers, magazines, government and media blogs, television and radio stations, for two years, to publicize, without excuses, the gravity of Russian aggression and war crimes over the past 75 years. Russian textbooks and related reading should include accurate accounts of Russian aggression and war crimes in recent decades. These measures are similar to the acknowledgment that Germany had to make to expiate guilt for its aggression in World War II.

– China: While maintaining equitable diplomatic and trade relations with China, Russia must withdraw from the 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship, which established close military, diplomatic, and economic relations between the two countries.

– Land: For decades, Moscow has stolen territory from its neighbors. Russia took parts of the region of Karelia and Salla and all of Petsamo from Finland in 1940, the South Kuril Islands (Northern Territories) from Japan in 1945, Transnistria from Moldova in 1992, Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia in 2008, and Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine in 2014. All these territories should revert to their rightful owners. Kaliningrad, seized from Germany in 1945, belongs geographically with Poland. And Russia should withdraw its military, police, civilian and diplomatic forces from Belarus and pledge not to interfere in that nation’s elections or politics.

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What’s in it for Russia to make some or all of these concessions?

Once an agreement is reached with NATO nations, each would agree to a peace treaty and ease sanctions cautiously over ten or more years. Such easing might include a gradual increase in airline service between Russia and the West, a measured increase of Russian diplomats allowed in the West, an increase in Russian legal emigration to the West, expansion in the trade of nonstrategic goods, diminishment of financial restrictions, and the resumption of aircraft parts and service agreements with Western aircraft makers.

While implementing these punitive and restorative measures, NATO and nonmember Western countries should discuss long-term steps by which Russia could gradually integrate itself with Western economic, political, cultural and religious institutions. The European Union, which played a beneficial role in integrating the formerly communist societies of Eastern and Central Europe, could lead this endeavor.

The goal of these integrative measures would be an emergent democratic and free-market Russia proud of its newfound status as a leading member of the reconfigured West.

James Fay is a semi-retired California attorney, political scientist, and college administrator. He served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, 3rd Armored Division. He has published articles on the Helsinki Accords, NATO funding, and Higher Education reform. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, 19FortyFive, Real Clear World, the American Spectator, and the Washington Times.

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Written By

James S. Fay is a California attorney and retired college administrator. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He served as a Lieutenant in the United States 3rd Armored Division and was stationed in Germany. Mr. Fay has published articles on the Helsinki Accords and on NATO funding.



  1. Cheburator

    November 3, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    You have made a list of requirements for Russia in case of defeat in the war in Ukraine, announce a similar list of requirements for the United States if the United States is defeated in Ukraine
    US should withdraw troops from Asia and Europe
    – Return Alaska, Oregon and California to Russia
    – Return New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, Arizona and Texas to Mexico
    – Return Florida to France
    – For 50 years, prohibit the United States from maintaining a fleet in the Pacific Ocean
    – Ban LGBT propaganda

    • Chuck Veritas

      November 4, 2022 at 9:35 am

      Pure fantasy my trollish friend. Russia is done. Best to make the necessary arrangements. Russia has allowed itself to degenerate further into evil. At this point it is not a country really worth saving and should be divided up with NATO on the ground for the next 25 years. I agree with the points mentioned, but go further and completely de-nuclearize the country

  2. Loganathan Naidoo

    November 3, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    I only hope that this possibility becomes a reality soon. My heart aches for Ukraine and peace .

  3. Fred Adams

    November 3, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    Some very good ideas here, especially the demand for Russian repayment to the Ukraine (and the North Caucusus) for every dollar’s worth of damage they have done in the Ukraine, and criminal trial for their atrocities against people.

    Any move to allow Russian participation in Western economies must be preceded by a demonstrated national commitment to a constitution, free and open elections, and the demonstrated removal of autocracy from their political system.

    The partial top-down “Westernization” pursued by Peter the Great and his successors, including Gorbachev, must become a bottom-up movement. The ordinary Russian must learn to resent his subordination to state and oligarchic control and become a “refusenik” in defense of his own freedom. Without this fundamental change, Russia will ever lapse back into its autocratic ways. The difficulty of this task should not be underestimated.

    Westernization is desirable for Russia, for Russians, and for the West. It’s achievability is not ordained. The West must ever be prepared to control Russia’s aggressive instincts at the very first indication of its resurgence.

    But the present war must be won first.

    • Cheburator

      November 3, 2022 at 1:49 pm

      Let the United States pay for starters to everyone they bombed over the past 50 years, and then put forward claims against Russia,
      Оr maybe Ukraine will pay compensation to the population of Donetsk and Lugansk for the bombings from 2014 to 2022.

  4. Begemot

    November 3, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    This is an absurd proposal. No self respecting nation would accept this. It would be the Versailles Treaty all over again and would, like that treaty, guarantee another war.

  5. Paddy Manning

    November 3, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Great piece but I suspect optimistic. Is there a B option ?

  6. from Russia with love

    November 3, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    great plan! this is exactly what we will do with the EU after the defeat of NATO in Ukraine. 😎👍 I will add this article to my favorites so as not to lose it. then you will whine that “Russians are too cruel.”🤣

    • Paul Olsen

      November 3, 2022 at 3:46 pm

      Good luck with that.
      Russia has the second best army in Ukraine and is taking a beating by Ukranians mostly armed with old Soviet era equipment. So opening up a new front(s) against NATO with its modern military sounds like a brilliant idea. The war would be over before it starts. But if not, NATO with friends accounts for more than 50% of the worlds economic output and can outproduce whatever the tiny and corrupt Russian economy can produce 20 times.

      But you are right about one thing. Russians are cruel, as documented by numerous war crimes committed in Ukraine, Chechnya, Syria and probably many other places.

      • Cheburator

        November 3, 2022 at 4:31 pm

        Where did you see the defeat?
        Ukraine has lost more than 500,000 soldiers, spending more than $100 billion, taking control of less than 20,000 square miles, Ukraine’s budget for 23 was passed with a $40 billion deficit, this deficit will be covered from the pocket of American taxpayers.

        The US and NATO have already depleted conventional weapons stocks – the question is how these stocks will be replenished, given that inflation in the US is already approaching 10%, who will pay for the banquet.
        Russia uses the tactics of a bull terrier – they grabbed Ukraine and hold it, Russia has nowhere to hurry. Do you even know that the losses of the Ukrainian army are 8-10 Ukrainians to 1 Russian, and even foreign military assistance does not allow providing material and technical support. Ukraine has local successes, but they do not change the overall picture.
        As for NATO’s direct intervention in the conflict, Russia has indicated that it will be a direct threat Russia, with the ensuing nuclear strike against the United States and NATO.
        The power of 50% of the world’s economy will not help NATO if the NATO countries become a nuclear desert.

      • Cheburator

        November 3, 2022 at 4:32 pm

        Where did you see the defeat?

        Ukraine has lost more than 500,000 soldiers, spending more than $100 billion, taking control of less than 20,000 square miles, Ukraine’s budget for 23 was passed with a $40 billion deficit, this deficit will be covered from the pocket of American taxpayers.

        The US and NATO have already depleted conventional weapons stocks – the question is how these stocks will be replenished, given that inflation in the US is already approaching 10%, who will pay for the banquet.

        Russia uses the tactics of a bull terrier – they grabbed Ukraine and hold it, Russia has nowhere to hurry. Do you even know that the losses of the Ukrainian army are 8-10 Ukrainians to 1 Russian, and even foreign military assistance does not allow providing material and technical support. Ukraine has local successes, but they do not change the overall picture.

        As for NATO’s direct intervention in the conflict, Russia has indicated that it will be a direct threat Russia, with the ensuing nuclear strike against the United States and NATO.
        The power of 50% of the world’s economy will not help NATO if the NATO countries become a nuclear desert.

        • Ron Lawrence

          November 3, 2022 at 10:50 pm

          If you think the Russians would ever use a strategic nuke short of for their very survival you are sadly mistaken. No one wins that kind of conflict. Even if the West didn’t retaliate, NATO would send every division in Europe straight for Moscow and the Russians couldn’t stop them short of a tactical nuke and the US has those as well. Cooler heads better prevail orthings can spiral out of control.

          • Cheburator

            November 4, 2022 at 9:45 am

            Putin will not use nuclear weapons on his borders, especially since he considers Ukraine a part of Russia and will not use nuclear weapons on his own territory. Moreover, Ukraine is defeated – the colossal losses and losses of Kyiv will not allow Ukraine to win a conventional weapons.

            A provocation with a nuclear weapon under a false flag can be committed by the UK or the USA, but Russia will consider this a nuclear strike on its territory – Russia does not divide nuclear weapons into tactical and strategic – a nuclear strike, there is a nuclear strike. And in the event of a nuclear explosion the a Ukraine, Russia will not hesitate to launch a nuclear strike on the United States or Great Britain – because it considers a nuclear explosion in Ukraine a nuclear strike on its own territory – and then for Russia any military facility in Europe, the United States, the Pacific Ocean will become a legitimate target.

            Russia will know that it did not use nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons were used against it, and it will be completely indifferent to any arguments and accusations from a NATO.
            But the United States and Britain can take such a desperate step – Russia destroys the NATO proxy project without any chance, and the liquidation of Ukrainian statehood for NATO is a colossal material and reputational loss.
            There is no need to lie about the fact that Ukraine is not a US proxy, Zelensky cannot wipe himself without a call to Washington and London.

      • Ron Lawrence

        November 3, 2022 at 10:43 pm

        First, the only way Ukraine wins this war is if Russia quits or Putin is assassinated. If neither of those things happen it is more likely that the newly conservative US Congress ties the hands of Biden to keep him from draining the US military to supply Ukraine

      • from Russia with love

        November 4, 2022 at 7:16 am

        Paul Olsen:
        boy, you definitely have schizophrenia!🤣
        this is an article in an American edition, written by an American author, but for some reason you have cruel Russians. not the cat suggesting it, not you supporting it… no! of course the Russians. if you have diarrhea, is it also because Russians are cruel?😲😂🤣🤣

  7. NoName

    November 3, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    The author quite accurately described the causes of the conflict: the aggression of the West and its desire to disarm and humiliate Russia.
    That’s just more likely the world will burn in a nuclear flame than Russia will lose.

  8. Roger Bacon

    November 3, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    A long list of things that Russia would never agree to — Putin or no Putin. If there ever was a chance to get any of these things it was right after the collapse of the USSR. In fact, I thought Japan was crazy not to push for the return of the stolen land at that time. It was literally the only part of Japan that had oil.

  9. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    November 3, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Sounds great but will never happen. Vlad is in too deep and would rather kill thousands/millions over many years than admit his disastrous mistake. I doubt that even a moderate successor would accept most of those stipulations.

  10. WillLongfield

    November 3, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    I think Russia would prefer to fight rather than submit to this. Wouldn’t you?

  11. PeaceLover

    November 3, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Doesn’t the author want to mention US launched 251 military interventions since 1991 and they must pay for all the suffering they have brought so far?

  12. Gary Jacobs

    November 3, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    This is a good start, but the ‘re-education’ should go further back than 75 years.

    Putin is so fond of imagining himself in the image of Peter and Catherine the not-so-greats, the true history of their theft of other people’s land like Crimea and what is now St. Petersburg, The Holodomor famines started by Stalin in the 1930s which killed up to 10Million Ukrainians, the pogroms and Pale of Settlement against 4.5 Million Jews started by Catherine, and so much more.

    Russia history is incredibly brutal. Possibly worse than all of Europe and the US combined. That needs to come to an end. Russia needs its own version of reformation and enlightenment.

    • from Russia with love

      November 4, 2022 at 7:36 am

      Gary Jacobs:
      why 10 million? why not 100? 😲 and 50 million raped parrots, solely so as not to fall out of the trend laid down by the Ukrainian Ombudsman Dinisova. if you are going to lie, then you probably don’t need to be modest. 😉 4.5 million Jews beyond the Pale of Settlement? with Catherine? what a horror!!!😲 let’s see what your ancestors were doing at that time… the slave trade and the extermination of the indigenous population of the ameriki. right? 😎 you still have Indians living on reservations and you have the audacity to say something about cruelty? 😲 you have been changing one sigrigation to another since the beginning of your history and nothing has changed. Speaking of the Pale of Settlement..who canceled it? it seems “bloody” Stalin? right?
      dude, you look like a smelly, dirty homeless person sitting in a cesspool and criticizing others for not being clean enough and not smelling good enough.🤣🤣🤣

      • Gary Jacobs

        November 4, 2022 at 10:25 am

        From Russia with Hate,

        I see the the siloviki unleashed their favorite Putiniasta troll back to 1945. It must have taken you a while to run away from being conscripted like the other million Russians who fled for their lives so they didnt have to die in Ukraine… and now you are back at a computer to peddle your Kremlin fantasies.

        FYI: Your troll routine has zero effect on me. Part of my own family was ethnically cleansed by the Russian pogroms from the Pale of Settlement. I have intimate knowledge about Russian atrocities, and I have spent decades studying Russian imperialist brutality.

        I would have thought based on how completely wrong you were on the defeat of the Russian Army in Kharkiv and Kherson you wouldnt have the guts to continue trying to peddle your fiction here… but I guess the pay from Prigozhin troll farm army is a bit too much to turn down. That’s fine. At a loss rate of about 4000 men this week with no sign of the Russian army being capable of any sort of coherent military maneuver in Ukraine you can expect a lot more losing on the battlefield coming soon to the imperialist invasion near you.

        Have a liberating day.

        • Cheburator

          November 4, 2022 at 10:51 am

          According to the customs services of the border states, about 500,000 people left the Russian Federation, that is, 0.3% of the population – a statistical error.

          As for Kharkiv and Kherson – the Ukrainian army took control of about 20,000 square miles, losing more than 500,000 soldiers, and spending more than $ 100,000 billion on the war – the question is whether Ukraine should pull through in such a war, and how much more military assistance will continue from NATO countries?

          Please tell us about the ethnic pogroms in which your family suffered, but rather indicate the name of a specific historical episode – as far as I remember, Jewish pogroms in Russia took place during the civil war of 1920-23, but in addition to the Jews who made up a small percentage of the population of the Russia, tens of millions of people died there other ethnic groups, and Jewish pogroms were suddenly carried out by the Petliurists in Ukraine and the White Guards in the Volga region and beyond the Urals. And both of these movements were sponsored by Europe and the United States.
          Just like now – the West is sponsoring marginals in Ukraine.

          • Gary Jacobs

            November 4, 2022 at 12:49 pm


            LoL, there is a difference between total population, and fighting age males… and who actually believes Russian State states. Its likely well over 1 Million by now…

            As well, the idea Ukraine has lost 500,000 soldiers is perhaps the funniest fraud of a stat I have heard in years. Im guessing you are also paid by Prigozhin’s troll farm army.

            You Putinistas will have to try a lot harder to excuse your losing. Hahaha.

        • from Russia with love

          November 4, 2022 at 12:02 pm

          favorite putinist troll?!?😲 you flatter me.😎
          you’re not a poverish, but in life there are a lot of more interesting and important things than to scoff at people like you. 🤣 free time appeared and I dropped in to visit my clowns.😎
          it makes no sense for me to run from mobilization. I am older than the category that was subject to mobilization. 🤷‍♂️ if there is a full-scale war and full mobilization, then I will go to war. I’m not a rat like you.😉
          some kind of strange defeat in Kherson and Kharkov … it seems that the Ukrainians won, and the Russians have more and more Ukrainian prisoners. how do you get it? you say 4000 Russians were killed in 2 weeks? can you confirm somehow? according to my data, about 14,000 Ukrainians have been killed in inconclusive attacks in the last two weeks. can i confirm this? here is a short video of your sub and not the largest Ukrainian village. taken by the Ukrainians. so you can’t even call it Kremlin propaganda.😉

          Now it’s your turn to somehow back up your words with facts, or are you just a talker?😲
          here in the past week 2 Americans were sent to hell. This is not Kremlin propaganda either. it is your newspapers that write about 2. probably more.
          Separately, I am glad to note that you are forced to recognize my arguments and are not able to refute them. The USA and the countries of the old world are real rabid dogs compared to Russia.

        • Cheburator

          November 4, 2022 at 2:50 pm

          The conclusion about 300,000 Russians who have gone abroad does not come from Russian customs, but from foreign services for recording and registering emigrants.

          The estimate of Ukraine’s losses of 8-10 soldiers to 1 Russian soldier comes from the USA and Great Britain – so even if Russia’s loss estimate of 70,000 is true at least 2/3, then Ukraine’s losses are more than 500,000.
          Regarding the possibility of Ukraine’s victory – it is highly doubtful – Ukraine has suffered enormous losses in manpower, spending more than $ 100 billion, the state budget of Ukraine for the 2023 year has a deficit of $ 40 billion, and the volume of military aid is being reduced – it has come to the point that even the United States has used up stocks of conventional weapons, not to mention Poland or Germany. In addition, many light weapons systems received a negative assessment in real combat operations – do you even know that half of the number of Javelins produced in the entire history was delivered to Ukraine, and the system turned out to be useless even against old tanks, and this is with a price tag of $ 250 000 for shot.

    • from Russia with love

      November 4, 2022 at 2:41 pm

      ha ha ha!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣
      this is especially for you!😎
      There was an interesting story here recently. this is to your applications for 4000 in 2 weeks. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry stated that it shot down 44 Russian missiles out of 50 per day. Ukrainian municipal leaders from 10 Ukrainian regions reported that 18 infrastructure facilities were destroyed by Russian missiles. how are you with math? Can you think of how 6 missiles can hit 10 areas and destroy 18 objects? Will you continue to refer to those who lie so blatantly?😎

  13. Rick

    November 3, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Ukraine winning is the expected outcome and pootie’s death through sudden deceleration is the ideal result. The most hated person in the world will not be mourned

    The whole world awaits his painful demise.

  14. Frank Martin

    November 3, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    Pure fantasy. Here’s another one: my country, the US, should stop acting like it rules the world & stop endless wars. Try dealing with long neglected issues here at home before we show you bums what a real insurrection looks like.

  15. ATM

    November 4, 2022 at 12:09 am

    I tend to think that NATO will prevail, but it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. Biden is not the brightest bulb on the tree and there are plenty of ways that he could screw it up.

  16. Tamerlane

    November 5, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    The author is dreaming. Russia will go to end of the world thermonuclear war before they submit to the unconditional surrender he envisions in his wet dream here. The fact that a trained MI officer could produce this hubristic self-conceited article is incredible. Are you sure he served in our American armed forces?? He writes like Baghdad Bob.

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