Ukraine War, March 27, 2022: Peace is not around the corner; Russian demands and Ukrainian determination; “(Letter) To my Russian friends”; Albert Camus, “Letters to a German friend (1943-44)”


Due to rapidly-breaking developments and in order to facilitate readers’ access to the latest dispatches, we are publishing this article as it is being written. please check back for updates and additions.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.


1) David Millward, Rebecca Rosman, and Nick Squires ,”Donald Trump accuses Joe Biden of risking nuclear war with Russia; US president’s apparent call for regime change in Moscow alarms allies and triggers panic in Washington,” The Telegraph, March 27, 2022 (5:30 p.m.);

2) Lawrence Freedman (Gastbeitrag), “Dieser Krieg ist noch lange nicht zu Ende; Muss die Ukraine Putin dabei helfen, gesichtswahrend aus dem Krieg auszusteigen? Nein, sagt der britische Militärexperte Lawrence Freedman. Zugleich warnt er: Die militärischen Möglichkeiten Russlands sind beileibe nicht erschöpft, ” Der Spiegel, den 27. März 2022 (21.22 Uhr);

3) Jonathan Littell (Tribune), “Mes chers amis russes, c’est l’heure de votre Maïdan; Jonathan Littell, “Evoquant la révolution à Kiev en 2014, l’écrivain s’adresse, dans une lettre ouverte, à ses « amis d’âme et d’esprit » restés silencieux face aux agressions commises par leur pays en Tchétchénie, en Crimée et en Ukraine. Il les appelle à reprendre leur liberté en faisant tomber le régime,” Le Monde, le 27 mars 2022 (01h56, mis à jour à 14h47).

Jonathan Littell, écrivain et cinéaste. Il est notamment l’auteur de « Les Bienveillantes » (Gallimard), prix Goncourt en 2006, et de « Une Vieille histoire. Nouvelle version » (Gallimard, 2018), ainsi que d’un documentaire, sorti en salle en 2017, sur les enfants-soldats d’Ouganda (« Wrong Elements »). Il a travaillé pour les ONG humanitaires MSF et Action contre la faim en Bosnie, Tchétchénie et Afghanistan. En 2008, il a écrit un reportage en Géorgie pour « Le Monde 2 », peu de temps après le bref conflit ayant opposé ce pays à la Russie.

4) Jonathan Littrell, “A mis amigos rusos; Ahora Putin no se va a conformar con vuestro silencio; querrá vuestra aquiescencia. Y si no le dais lo que quiere, podéis intentar iros, de alguna manera, o ser aplastados. Dudo que veáis otra opción. Pero hay una. Que es derrocar a este régimen de una vez por toda,” El País, el 26/de marzo 2022 (23:26 EDT).

This article is addresses themes similar to those addressed in the French article in Le Monde, but is not identical.

5) “Ukraine War, February 27, 2022: The spiritual dimension–Albert Camus, “Letters to a German friend” 1943-44; Dispatches and Analyses,” The Trenchant Observer, February 27, 2022.


Trump couldn’t resist the chance to criticize Biden for his huge mistake suggesting the removal of Putin as a U.S. war aim.

Lawrence Freedman provides a sobering reminder that the war in Ukraine is far from over. He describes the immense gulf that exists between Putin’s demands and the hard and non-negotiable positions of Ukraine, which is not going to recognize any territorial claims against Ukraine for lands Russia conquered by force.

Freedman also explains the great differences in the determination of the Ukrainian people to defend their country and their freedom, on the one hand, and the much lesser importance of the war and achieving Putin’s goals for the Russian population including its soldiers, on the other.

Jonathan Littrell in his article in Le Monde examines the degree to which Russians are individually responsible for the descent from the nascent democracy of the 1990’s to the increasingly totalitarian Russia of Vladimir Putin today. His article in El País explores similar themes but is a different article. Both evoke associations to Albert Camus’ “Letters to a German friend (1943-44), which are discussed in the article in The Trenchant Observer.

Littrell explores questions of the individual responsility of Russians for the actions of their government. Karl Jaspers 1946 book Die Sculdfrage, published in 1947 as The Question of German Guilt remains the authoritative guide for inquiries into such questions, and for self-reflection on the part of individuals.


“The Question of Individual Responsibility for the Actions of One’s Nation,” The Trenchant Observer, January 6, 2018.

The Trenchant Observer

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