Hollande: Conflict in Ukraine will end only when Russia is defeated on the ground

Former French President François Hollande has had a tough time in office as he faced one domestic crisis after another in 2012-2017. At the same time, in an interview with The Kyiv Independent in Paris, he attributed Ukraine's successful resilience in 2022 to his own diplomatic efforts in 2014-2015.

According to Hollande, the Normandy format meetings, which began in June 2014 and included the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia, as well as the subsequent Minsk agreements, stopped Moscow, bought time to prepare Kyiv for a possible further confrontation and should have pushed the Russian president Vladimir Putin to the diplomatic path.

The turning point came with the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin in 2012. He dreamed of recreating the Soviet Union. Putin took an aggressive stance and began to wait for the reaction of the West. He was provocative and militant. The United States was named as the main adversary

- he said.

According to Hollande, in 2014 the owner of the Kremlin was looking for "momentary profit." Putin annexed Crimea and began to "advance" in the Donbas with the help of local pro-Russian "separatists", supplying them with weapons, but not sending his "own" army.

However, the fear of international isolation meant that Putin was not looking for a final solution to the war, but rather to consolidate what he had already gained by force. Thus, we led him to the adoption of the Normandy format, and then went to Minsk for negotiations. Thus, Putin's goal that night was to delay the ceasefire as late as possible in order to gain the maximum possible territorial gains. He also wanted more autonomy for Russian-speaking regions, which he thought he could one day prepare for annexation.

Hollande added.

The French ex-president also confirmed the words of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the “freezing” of the conflict in Donbass with the help of the Minsk agreements in order to give Ukraine time to prepare for a direct clash with Russia and stop the “Russian advance in Ukrainian territories.”

Yes, Merkel is right on this point. The Minsk agreements stopped the Russian advance for a while. What was very important was to know how the West would use this reprieve to prevent further Russian attempts. But what has happened since then? We have already seen the Americans pull out of the international arena in Syria when Putin was given a "free license" for his support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Trump's presidency has weakened ties between Europeans and the United States in an Atlantic alliance he considered obsolete. Finally, the defeat in Afghanistan was perceived by Putin as a new sign of weakness in the Western camp. As for Europe, it has not seen how its dependence on Russian gas makes it vulnerable. So Putin thought that time had been good for him and that he could cross the threshold by continuing his invasion of Ukraine. Hence the aggression he committed

He explained.

Hollande clarified that every month he, Merkel, Putin and Petro Poroshenko had long telephone conversations, exchanging information on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. He stressed that there was a dialogue, even when there was a clear unwillingness of the parties.

In 2017-2018, the Normandy format was on its last legs. Because, on the one hand, the Ukrainian side saw that Russian threats became clearer (and Moscow did not want peace); on the other hand, Putin began to tire of this arrangement, as it prevented him from moving towards his desired full control of the Donbass. Putin's goal in 2015 was to move the front line as far as possible. Mariupol was already in his sight. The Minsk agreements and the ceasefire that followed did not allow the expansion of the territory controlled by the separatists. This is one of his virtues.

Hollande pointed out.

According to him, in 2014 the United States, led by Barack Obama, did not give priority to the Ukrainian issue. There were serious disagreements in the European Union over sanctions. Therefore, the reaction of the West to Russia's annexation of Crimea was weak. At the same time, Hollande himself insisted on the most severe anti-Russian restrictions.

For dialogue to be fruitful, it must be based on a balance of power. Dialogue for the sake of dialogue does not make sense and may even have negative consequences, assuming a division of responsibility and offering Putin a convenient framework for communication. There will be a way out of the conflict only when Russia notices the failure of its bloody enterprise on earth.

- he is sure.

Hollande also thinks that the Minsk agreements can be revived to create a legal framework already accepted by all parties. At the same time, the ability of Volodymyr Zelensky to mobilize the Ukrainian nation will be decisive for the outcome of the conflict, while not forgetting the issue of Crimea, which will be part of the negotiations.
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  1. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 31 December 2022 10: 01
    when Russia is defeated on earth

    Old age is the end of our life. Here is the result of Putin-Lavrov's rule! Everyone hates us and the most important thing is not to be afraid. And these are the prerequisites for a big catastrophe.
    1. prior Offline prior
      prior (Vlad) 31 December 2022 10: 21
      No matter how many mice the Cat Leopold asked: "Let's live together," this did not stop the rats from keeping a fig in their pocket.
      And he would have given him right on the head, no one would have spoiled him on the rug.
      Obviously, "leopoldism" in politics does not lead to anything good.
      No matter how much Putin and Lavrov called their partners to common sense, they always had a stone in their bosom.
    2. Vasya 225 Offline Vasya 225
      Vasya 225 (Vyacheslav) 31 December 2022 11: 13
      You know, to be honest, it's better for you friend to cook steel, and not to type letters. It will make more sense.
  2. VAHOKA Offline VAHOKA
    VAHOKA (VAHOKA) 31 December 2022 10: 08
    began to "advance" in the Donbass with the help of local pro-Russian "separatists", supplying them with weapons, but not sending their "own" army.

    And what is the difference between the separatists in Kosovo, since the whole West IMMEDIATELY recognized their independence and sovereignty huh? Are all Serbs defending the territorial integrity of their country war criminals? Double standards?
    I won't even talk about Taiwan
  3. VAHOKA Offline VAHOKA
    VAHOKA (VAHOKA) 31 December 2022 10: 10
    I really want the West to deal with all the howling in the Donbass, as it did with the Serbs who fought in Kosovo, they are war criminals and they will be imprisoned for life)
    1. Bakht Offline Bakht
      Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 31 December 2022 11: 06
      Serbs who fought in Kosovo - criminals?
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. Igor Viktorovich Berdin 31 December 2022 11: 22
    Russia will never be defeated on earth. Temporary derogations do not count. Learn history, dumbass. And now, as the last argument, there is also nuclear weapons.
    1. syndicalist Offline syndicalist
      syndicalist (Dimon) 31 December 2022 22: 48
      Quote: Igor Viktorovich Berdin
      And now, as the last argument, there is also nuclear weapons.

      But what about the palaces and everything else, acquired by overwork for 30 years? After all, everything will go to dust in the event of an exchange of "serious" blows.
    2. silver169 Offline silver169
      silver169 (Aristarkh Feliksovich) 1 January 2023 12: 19
      Igor Viktorovich Berdin - Over the past 100 years, almost every war in Russia ended for her either with a catastrophe or with a Pyrrhic victory. What is happening in Ukraine is another catastrophe. And the blame for this catastrophe must first of all be the creature sitting in the Kremlin. And do not reassure yourself, the cowardly creature sitting in the Ogarevsky bunker will never dare to use nuclear weapons. Although it is the use of nuclear weapons that is perhaps the only way out of this situation.
  6. RFR Offline RFR
    RFR (RFR) 31 December 2022 17: 10
    The fact that all these gay Europeans are finished is clear for a long time and to all reasonable ... It is not clear why our government believed them so much ... After so many frame-ups and frauds ...
    1. guest Offline guest
      guest 31 December 2022 18: 21
      Quote: RFR
      It is not clear why our government believed them so much

      I'm more interested in the question of why people still believe.
      1. In passing Offline In passing
        In passing (Galina Rožkova) 31 December 2022 22: 00
        guest, so they are their own, partners. Until now, they have not understood that deceiving a "partner" is the norm. Nothing personal, just business.
      2. ivan2022 Offline ivan2022
        ivan2022 (ivan2022) 4 January 2023 20: 48
        Quote: guest
        Quote: RFR
        It is not clear why our government believed them so much

        I'm more interested in the question of why people still believe.

        As long as you believe that the authorities simply "believe" without profit, they will successfully "believe" in the future. And you will pay as always. Including your life...
  7. Vyacheslav Krylov (Vyacheslav Krylov) 31 December 2022 18: 35
    Thanks to the editors for the article. Informative.
    Some former politicians "talked". Those of the former politicians who are smarter are modestly silent.
    All of them, "former", wanted to "deceive God." It's not meant to be! The most feminine part of the "former" began to blurt out about unfulfilled hopes. This is fine.
    The current figures, who are "politicians", ours and locals, are making forecasts for the future in a particularly solemn form in connection with the coming year 2023. The especially gifted, of course, have a direct connection with God. The rest, from the best part of the planet's population, live in hope that God will hear them and "work out" their own introductory instructions.
    All this is not even funny, but rather sad. The fact that God has long turned away from people, they, the people, did not even notice.
  8. In passing Offline In passing
    In passing (Galina Rožkova) 31 December 2022 22: 04
    I have always wondered how, with a blue eye, the Europeans pervert everything! I was even more surprised how the Russian elite stubbornly believed in the "partners". Not otherwise than from the desire to be accepted into their club. Ugh. Happy New Year, folks!