Battleground: Ukraine

A history podcast that explores the narratives, turning points and characters that shape conflicts, encompassing a blend of social and military history. Following on from the series on the Falklands War, best-selling military historians Patrick Bishop, and Saul David turn their attention to the war in Ukraine.

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53. Prigozhin - Putin's Replacement?

53. Prigozhin - Putin's Replacement?

Wed, 24 May 2023 00:00

On this week's Big Interview, Saul and Patrick speak to British journalist and policy analyst - Anatol Lieven, who has recently returned from a trip to Ukraine. In a thought provoking and intriguing interview Anatol challenges some of the established positions and narratives surrounding the conflict, and raised concern about the prospect of Ukraine launching an offensive into Crimea.

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Hey, Cass Powers, the world's best podcast. Here's a show that we recommend. There's a twin mattress just laying on the floor. There's a video camera that is set up on a tripod and then there's like a little lamp. This is what we call a dungeon. Hi, I'm Yardley Smith. Guess what? Season 12 of Small Town Dix is here! He says, I've never been more terrified in a room with a patient before as I am with this man here. I say, if you keep me on based on what I saw out there at the crime scene, I'm going to turn into a defense witness. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up. Small Town Dix Season 12 is out now. Don't miss it. Hey, Cass helps creators launch, grow and monetize their podcast everywhere. Hello and welcome to the Battleground podcast Big Interview. Our guest today is Dr. Anatole Leven. Anatole is a former journalist who worked for the Times, the Financial Times and the BBC. He's currently director of the Eurasian program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He's just recently been on a wide-ranging tour of Ukraine. This is what he told us about what he saw and what he heard. Anatole, welcome to the podcast. Have you recently been on a tour of Ukraine? Can you tell us what you were hearing there and how you gauge the mood? The mood is confident and certainly there is solid determination to resist the Russian invasion and to go on fighting. There are certain potential cracks and difficulties but at the moment they are largely under the surface. They could however emerge in future, particularly if there is a move towards or pressure on Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire. I think you could see serious political divisions emerging in the Ukrainian elites. Anatole will be asking you about the potential ceasefire in a bit more detail in a moment. Before we get there, I want to drill down into some of the interesting dynamics, particularly on the Russian side at the moment. That of course is the endless criticism, very vocal, very overt from Pregozion, the Wagner boss who's of course forces are conducting the seemingly endless fight for back moods against the Russian leadership, the military leadership in particular. But also he seems almost to be moving into criticism of Putin himself. Can you explain how he's getting away with this really and what really lies behind it in your view? Well, Pregozion is getting away with it because he has been built up by the Kremlin as an important force in the Ukraine war. And he has created the image of himself as a great Russian military patriot. So having built him up in that way, and of course the Russian government has used Wagner in Syria, is using it in Africa and elsewhere, it's very difficult for them to get rid of him again. So yes, I mean he has established a very strong position for himself. As to what lies behind it, I think in part what lies behind it is completely sincere on the part of Pregozion and Wagner, which is that the Russian military leadership has proved itself to be monstrously incompetent in just about every way, frankly. And it's widely thought that one reason why the Defence Minister Shoggo and the military Chief Gerasimov did not warn Putin of the unpreparedness of the Russian military and the risks of the invasion of Ukraine is that of course they had been in charge of the Russian military for well over a decade. And to admit this would have been to admit their failure, which they felt they couldn't do. From that point of view, it was better to go ahead and risk it. And Wagner has been doing a very large part of the fighting in recent months. So I think that some of Pregozion's anger does reflect the anger of his men. And the fact that they feel as frontline forces often feel that they are doing the dying and the staff, the military staff are messing it up while sitting safely in offices in Moscow. So I think that's part of it. But clearly I mean Pregozion is also positioning himself as a major political figure. And at the moment he has, you know, he's still limiting his criticism of Putin personally, his harsh, his really harsh criticisms are focused on Shoggo and Gerasimov and the Russian military leadership. But should there be a political crisis that threatens Putin? For example, if Russia suffers another major military defeat as a result of this Ukrainian offensive or if by any chance Putin were to decide to step down, in theory he's supposed to face new elections, presidential elections early next year. If he decided to do a Yeltsin and as Uniltsin handed over to Putin in 99 and choose a successor and step down obviously and return for various guarantees, then there could be a harsh power struggle within the Russian elites. And since Pregozion knows that Shoggo and Gerasimov hate him, he is clearly building up a, we're trying to build up a base of popular approval and support which will strengthen him in any future power struggle. How high his ambitions go, we don't know. But of course in all these cases there is a combination of ambition and self-defense. Given that Pregozion has so many enemies within the Russian establishment, he more or less has to strengthen himself and take the offensive as a form of preemptive strike if you will. Given the political vacuum, given the absence of any serious kind of alternative political structures in Russia at the moment, do you think his ambitions are realistic? Do you think there is a possibility that he could actually end up the top dog? I think it's a possibility. Because if this regime, or at least if the top elements of the regime do go, then a great deal will be up for grabs. And we really don't know how things will pan out. But certainly part of the problem about a regime transition is that Putin has narrowed the top ranks of the regime. The people around him so much in recent years. He used to have a much broader and more diverse camp of leading officials, including a good many, which you might call state or patriotic liberals. But of course in recent years it's narrowed down barely to half a dozen people. And they are of course all absolutely implicated, both in the invasion of Ukraine but also in the dreadful mishandling of the invasion. So that makes it much more difficult for Putin to hand over to one of his close associates. But if he hands over to somebody outside the inner circle, then of course people in the inner circle are going to feel extremely endangered by that. So it is a complicated and unclear future, which of course probably means that the inner circle will back Putin or even insist to Putin that he stays on. But I mean it's interesting if you talk to, I wouldn't call them informed Russians because they admit themselves that they just don't know by now what's going on in the in Putin's inner circle. People who have been studying the Russian scene for a long time, they say that on one hand they think it will be impossible for Putin to survive another major defeat. But on the other hand they say they can't imagine how Putin actually goes. So it's a unclear future. Anatole, one of the fascinating elements of the West's support for Ukraine is that it has limits. And I suppose so, my broader question is are they right to be concerned about escalation in terms of the sort of weapons they give Ukraine? We've had a lot of people coming on the podcast saying well they really need to be given everything that can do the job. And these include of course long-range missiles that can be fired into Russia and degrade Russia's military capability on Russian soil. Recently as you will know the British have donated the storm shadow missile. A lot of military analysts are saying this is going to be a big game change. You will have to wait and see. But is that the sort of thing that NATO was concerned about? And if that is the case, how is it? And why is it that Britain has kind of stepped out of line so to speak? And taking this act which of course if you do believe the escalatory argument could have consequences? Well I think a key question is you said do the job. The question is what is the job? Because people in the West and within the Biden administration by the way are very divided about this under the surface. Because the Ukrainian government has said that the job and they've said this is non-negotiable is to recover all the territory that Ukraine has lost since 2014, including Crimea. Now not merely would that absolutely doom the Putin regime. And that is something of course that the Ukrainians, the Poles and the Poles want. But the loss of Crimea would be such a blow to Russian strategic interest, Russian national pride, coupled with the certainty of his fall. I think that if that were a serious threat then yes, the Russian government would escalate radically. Not I think directly to the use of tactical nuclear weapons because in first that would be a shattering moral blow to Russia. But also of course be a formal ironic because they would be using them on territory that they claim is Russian. But I think most likely it would be something else. Intended not to stop the Ukrainians on the battlefield but to terrifying the West and the Europeans in particular, into agreeing to a ceasefire. That could be for example knocking out American intelligence satellites which have done so much to help the Ukrainians. A friend of mine who used to be in the CIA said that frankly surprise the Russians haven't done that already given the amount of damage that US intelligence has done. Or of course they could attack Western infrastructure and they would say this was in retaliation for the American alleged or I would say even presumed American destruction of North Stream and then see how the West responds and then go from there. Of course next stage bombarding NATO bases in Poland. Not cities but bases. As I say basically as a set of warnings but that would initiate an escalator spiral and we don't know where it would end because obviously been proposal suggestions threats that the US should send the American Air Force into action against Russia in Ukraine. Where that happened Russia would certainly bombard air bases in Poland. Now that would be an attack on a NATO ally. So yes the threat of escalation is there but I think the real problem is that we have not defined even to ourselves you know let alone to the world what it is we are aiming at in Ukraine. Now by default on the principle that silence denotes consent of course that suggests to the Russians that we are in fact aiming at total victory as demanded by Ukraine. Well Russian friends said to me one who used to be a liberal at least that you know America would in the last resort use nuclear weapons to defend Hawaii and Pearl Harbor against an enemy and in the very last resort we should use nuclear weapons to defend Crimea and so on. Switching to the other side of the globe and at all you work for the Quincy Institute based in Washington DC so you have some insight into American politics as they currently are you mentioned earlier divisions inside the Biden administration on between sort of hard liners and more cautious voices. It's also the prospect of a Republican president the two front runners at the moment of both pretty skeptical about continuing support for Ukraine so this is a time element here isn't there can you talk a little bit about that and that how that is in a shape political and military decisions from the Ukrainian and indeed from the Russian point of view in the coming months. Well in the coming months the Ukrainians are going to go and get massive aid but they have been you know off the record statements in both Europe and America that after this year that cannot be guaranteed. That's why everyone is saying that so much hangs on the coming Ukrainian offensive. As to US policy after that it very much depends not just whether the Republicans win but which Republican wins because somebody like Nikki Haley if it was her would I think basically continue existing policies in a more modified form Donald Trump might well change them radically. But much you see also hangs on US relations with China because in the Republican camp a great deal and some Democrats as well by the way as well are advocating you know drawing down support for Ukraine and seeking some sort of settlement with Russia cease fire to end the war basically because they take a very sort of harsh realist line they see China as by far the greater threat to American primacy in the world and basically they want to concentrate overwhelmingly on China and they see that Russia and the war in Ukraine as a distraction from that. But that means of course that as I say a great deal will depend on how relations with China develop over the next year or so. So can we go to the paper that you're alluding to it there and at all to the paper you've just written about the past for a cease fire as it's described. You know that barring an improbable victory for either side the war will have to end in negotiations I think we can all agree on that but the US needs to play a key role in this can you kind of give us a bit more detail on what you think the US needs to do or should be doing and how it might play out. Yeah this is a paper which has just been published by the Quincy Institute on the search for cease fire in Ukraine and what it says basically is that you know there are not going to be ceasefire negotiations now because everyone is waiting for the results of the Ukrainian offensive and ceasefire negotiations are going to be extremely difficult because the Ukrainian foreign minister who does not necessarily reflect Zalensky's views because there have been clear differences between them in the past but he has just said that Ukraine will not negotiate on territory and will not agree to freeze the conflict along existing lines which of course rules out a ceasefire but what I argue in the paper is that actually whatever the result of the Ukrainian offensive there will be pressure for a ceasefire once the results of it are clear because if Ukraine does break through cut off Crimea and threaten Crimea then there will be a great strengthening of the voices in Washington and in Europe who say look Ukraine has recovered by far the greater part of what it has lost since the Russian invasion. The Biden administration has always said you know our aim in supporting Ukraine is to strengthen Ukraine at the negotiating table. Okay this is the moment to negotiate because if we back the Ukrainians into going further and actually attacking Crimea then the risks of escalation are very great. If on the other hand the Ukrainian suffer a really bad defeat and it is Russia that starts to advance again well then you will have people saying look we have to have a ceasefire now so that Ukraine does not lose more territory and is not actually weakened at the negotiating table and they will also say look it is clear that you know a complete Ukrainian victory is not possible and we cannot go on giving this level of aid forever and that will also of course be a widespread line if neither side makes any gains and you have a continuation of the existing stalemate because then you know the line will be strengthened this is coming to resemble the First World War that you will have a you know a bloody conflict going on essentially forever with no prospect of you know of a resolution through victory. So my view is that whatever happens we will see pressure for a ceasefire come the autumn or winter and that the Biden administration should start to lay the groundwork for this now including the talking to China about also to you know other countries that can act as interlockers but I also suggest that the administration and also governments in Europe and thinkers on this conflict need to change their discourse somewhat when it comes to Ukrainian victory because the Ukrainians say victory you know means the recovery of all their territory lost since 2014 a good many Ukrainians and others in Eastern Europe say that victory must mean the overthrow of the Putin regime or even the destruction of Russia as a state but if you look back a bit to the start of the invasion Russia's intention was either to to subjugate the whole of Ukraine to turn it again into a Russian client state or and or basically to break off half the country you know to divide Ukraine in two between the mainly Russian speaking areas and the rest now that has been completely defeated I don't think there is from my own observation on the ground it is not just militarily but also politically impossible for Russia to turn the whole of Ukraine into a client state and when it comes to territorial gains Russia failed in four out of its five objectives but if you look at this in historical terms this reverse is not just Russian aims at the stars of the war not just you know Russian aims since the end of the Cold War but this reverse is the dominant pattern of 400 years of Russian Ukrainian history the great majority of Ukraine if things stopped where they are now would be completely independent of Russia and closely aligned with the West now that is already a colossal victory for Ukraine and for the West it's not a total victory but it is as I say a tremendous victory in historical terms I think we need to to emphasize this because there's still a lot of language about this being an existential war for Ukraine I'm not sure that it is actually anymore unless you know Western support would collapse totally and the way to be a prospect of complete Russian victory but I don't think that is at all likely so you know what we are talking about is much more what we ought to be talking about is more limited goals it's all thought provoking stuff isn't it well that's enough for part one do join us after the break a cast powers the world's best podcast here's a show that we recommend there's a twin mattress just laying on the floor there's a video camera that is set up on a tripod and then there's like a little lamp this is what we call a dungeon hi I'm Yardley Smith guess what season 12 of small town dicks is here she says I've never been more terrified in a room with a patient before as I am with this man here I say if you keep me on based on what I saw out there at the crime scene I'm gonna turn into a defense witness the hair on the back of my neck was standing out small town dicks season 12 is out now don't miss it a cast helps creators launch grow and monetize their podcast everywhere a cast dot com welcome back to the big interview with dr anatole leaven this is what anatole went on to tell us next and as old you've been quite critical of what I suppose you might describe as a sort of you know black and white is a approach to the way the conflict is presented by political leaders and by the media you're an externalist yourself and you've been quite critical of media coverage are you really saying that the picture that we get from western media on the ground is giving us a distorted image of or understanding of what's going on well not nearly as distorted as the picture being given by the Russian media I have to say um to the Russian people and the rest of the world but then speaking as a former journalist I don't think saying that the western media is a good deal better than the Russian media is a tremendous complement actually you know my father was head of the Russian service and then the eastern European services of the BBC at the height of the Cold War he did not take the line for that our approach should be to lie a bit less or a bit better than the Soviet side he took the line at one of my earliest memories saying you've combat lies with the truth so and I have to say he drew a rather clear line between the BBC and for example radio for your radio liberty in that regard so yes I mean I think and one has seen this in previous conflicts as well and it's very understandable anger at the Russian invasion and contempt for Putin anger at Russian atrocities but yes I mean it has led to a degree of frankly propaganda and very careless reporting and you know I was talking to an American journalist for a a leading publication recently who had actually stationed in Ukraine and I asked about you know why he doesn't report divisions within the Ukrainian government and political elites which you certainly pick up if you're there and which could of course as I say the absolutely critical in future because you know pressure for a ceasefire could lead to a radical split in the in the Ukrainian regime and some of its members have explicitly openly threatened that if Selensky does move towards any kind of agreement with Russia he will be overthrown so I asked him why didn't cover that and he said well well I just find you know yes I mean they're terrible you know internal battles in Ukraine but I find them too depressing so I don't cover them okay and then I asked just in a few weeks I spent there talking to Ukrainian journalists you heard a great deal about well Ukraine the Ukrainian government has taken over the whole of television it's all state television now but newspapers and journals as well you know anyone who suggests that indeed Ukraine will have to negotiate some kind of agreement in the end will be sacked will be fired and may very well receive a visit from the Ukrainian security services you know anyone who goes further than that and you know condemns Ukrainian ethnic nationalism is extremely likely to end in jail so I asked him you know you were a journalist generally we basically stick up for free speech and journalists under pressure in other countries and he he said well yes I mean of course that may be true but my job is to cover the war so basically you know he's just doing war reporting from the Ukrainian side well I mean I covered several wars as a as a journalist but if anyone told me that that meant that I you know couldn't cover the political issues on either side I mean no but nobody would have asked me that question it would have been considered ridiculous well I have to say I mean when I was a journalist in the 80s covering the Afghan Mujahideen war in Afghanistan um actually so many of the divisions within the Mujahideen camp which of course later turned out to be absolutely catastrophic for Afghanistan where in fact ignored or very much downplay by the Western media which was I have to say then yeah I mean to a great extent acting as Mujahideen propaganda and also under heavy influence from the American and British governments so yeah go on Patrick. First of all what you're saying about this aspect of a sort of you know nationalist narrative which doesn't seem to bode very well for post-war Ukraine it would be a bit of a paradox if we have been assuming that we're kind of fighting for Western values or our supporters is really as a part of an attempt to turn Ukraine into a Western state in fact for what you're saying there's a danger it might turn into a kind of 21st century prussia as sort of militaristic monocultural state is that something you think is a real possibility? Oh absolutely in many ways it's well on the way and of course it's not just Ukraine we're talking about here there have been you know obvious moves in this direction in Poland and Hungary and in the Baltic States for many years now and it's interesting that we go on very strongly condemning Victor Orobam and his movement in Hungary for this kind of ethnic militant nationalism we've gone very quiet about the polls over the past year that is of course because Hungary is still friendly towards Russia on the whole whereas of course the polls are the leaders of the pro-Ukrainian camp but in terms of a basic ideology there's very little to choose between the Polish government and the Hungarian government and yeah I mean that poses a serious threat I would say in future of course once you're not simply playing the Europeans you know we have a a government in Italy now which is descended at least quite openly from the neo-fascist and there is a very good chance that the next president of France will be called Le Pen so I mean there is a general swing in this direction within Europe but yes I mean certainly I think the liberal media in the West needs to pay you know much more attention to this and should by the way have paid much more attention to it before the war as well because the and by the way I mean a former advisor to Zelensky has said this himself Alexei Arostovic that it's very difficult to see how Ukraine can appeal to the populations of Crimea and the eastern Donbass to return to Ukraine while pursuing you know ethno linguistic policies which were the things that alienated those populations in the first place you know in the 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union so yeah I mean this is a serious problem and of course the other thing to emphasize is that we need to look at these issues because Zelensky who of course does not at heart believe in in any of this though he has aligned himself with it since the war but Zelensky may need a lot of help from us in future against his you know hardline forces within Ukraine I hope say the great majority of people I talk to assumed and I think rightly that the Ukrainian military which of course I'm standard leader in the war has become very hardline will play a leading part in politics in Ukraine in future and at all can I ask you a little bit about the role that you think China can and will play in the ending of this war I mean clearly it's aligned with Russia up to a point at the moment and it doesn't want to see a disastrous Russian defeat but for lots of different reasons and yet at the same time it's been toning down the the Russian rhetoric certainly the nuclear saber rattling rhetoric and I think you feel that it can play a crucial role you've already talked about the the need for America to speak to China what kind of role do you envisage China playing well I think the most important thing to point out here is that you know China is often described as an ally of Russia it isn't America is an ally of Poland because and we are in British because we have a treaty with Poland which obliges us and the Baltic States NATO treaty to go to war if these countries are attacked there is no chance of the Chinese sending their army to fight for Russia and Ukraine and to date also China has not given Russia serious military aid or serious economic aid it's bought Russian oil and gas but then so is India and you know so many other countries around the world regarded as Western partners so you know China has observed a much more restrained attitude to this war I would say than many predicted and I think certainly the Chinese journalists and think time people I've talked to say that you know China does really does not want to give much greater you know great support open support to Russia above all of course because it fears that then Europe would really be driven into the arms of the United States and would impose really serious and damaging sanctions on China but they also say that you know if they became convinced that America and the West were out to impose a total defeat on Russia that could lead to you know the not just the fall of the Putin regime but the potential the end of Russia is a great power or some kind of great power then China would have to play a bigger role because you know keep keep holding Russia together as a major player is regarded in Beijing as a vital Chinese interest so you know I think China is still feeling its way China has after all except for you know the Iran Saudi detente has no real diplomatic experience of mediating conflicts in this way so I think you know China China does not have a plan at present but given that it you know it does have good relations with Russia it has managed to maintain reasonable relations with Ukraine given that of course Russia is increasingly dependent on China economically I think that yes I mean China could play an important role as an interlocutor but I think two things have to be recognized in that regard firstly you know China is not going to order Russia to surrender completely it's not going to order Russia to give up Crimea because the Russian government wouldn't do it it just can't and China to force it to would have to say okay well then we're not going to buy Russian oil and gas no chance absolutely no chance that China would would bring that kind of pressure to bear on Russia but the other thing is China will not I think act in any way without having confidence that the United States is fully committed to a ceasefire process because what it would be afraid of otherwise is is that and I think you know can see why they would be afraid of this that they would stick their next out they would you know put a lot of their diplomatic prestige on the table they would spoil their relationship with Russia and then America would walk away from the solution which in a way I have to say is what happened with the Minsk tour agreement broken by France and Germany in 2015 having initially approved the agreement the United States then did absolutely nothing to support it it left France and Germany hanging on the French and Germans themselves were not prepared to do anything to support it without American backing so America would have to assure China that it is fully committed and basically that if China is going to bring its influence to bear on on Russia that America will be willing to bring out influence to bear on Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire without that I don't think the Chinese will get seriously involved okay well I've got no further questions absolutely brilliant and at all thank you very much indeed very wide ranging from going very deep so we're very grateful to you for coming on it was a pleasure I hope we get to meet in person at some stage well I have to say Patrick that was one of the most intriguing and interesting interviews we've done because in many ways it challenges a lot of the positions that we've been taking on the podcast in recent weeks and I'm not saying we've been completely knocked off our purge but you do have to reassess certain things don't you I mean not so much the staff about pregozion impu-ton that was interesting enough the fact that pregozion is sort of setting himself up as an alternative ruler and that and at all wouldn't rule out the possibility that there might even be some kind of Putin stroke yeltsin type relinquishment of power as long as he gets guarantees that he's not going to be prosecuted for his past crimes in a verdict commison that pregozion make take power but also the point that actually some of his actions are as much about self-defense as they are about really you know a determination to do down his enemies because he's clearly got a lot of them yes I quite agree so I mean I've found myself being shifted away from my the normal kind of words a tram line is but he there's sort of a direction that I think we both kind of follow when we're discussing the Ukraine situation and it did cause me to re-evaluate as particularly struck by his observation or his judgment that Ukraine's already won this war that it's already got the basis for a future in which it could you know be seeking its own destiny without a threat from Russia and that this ought to be something that's said more openly by both you know Western political leaders and by the Western media so that is definitely a point of view that's worthy of deep consideration and all of this is underpin by his overall point that you have to consider this the long-term solution here both sides of entrench themselves in a position it's really going to be hard to pull back from the Russians because they proclaim these four states which are clearly going to be unacceptable for Ukraine to ever relinquish even given the point that he's made about the fact that Ukraine has effectively overturned 400 years of opposition or at least infighting with the Russians and of course the Ukrainians because they are determined to get back not just the status quo anti-bellum on the 24th of February last year but also recover the whole of the Donbass and Crimea too and it's on the subject of Crimea that Anatol was most interesting because what about that comment made by the former liberal Russian friend of his that they were consider an attack on Crimea to be a justification for the use of nuclear weapons I mean it's pretty scary stuff isn't it the one thing I do take slight issue with I have to say in the whole interview is the point that we need to be concerned about escalation I'm really not convinced that the Russians have much leverage as far as escalation is concerned he's he's spoken about you know attacks on infrastructure also possibly attacks on air bases in Russia but all of these really are potentially uh going to bring down NATO in a war against Russia and that is a war they can either win nor do they won so yes there's going to be a lot of saber-attling a lot of threats but I'm not quite sure it can go that far I'm afraid and I'm not quite sure that America and the rest of NATO is really particularly concerned any longer but I might be wrong I was also impressed with his view that China is definitely going to be a big part of the end game and that it needs to be brought in the United States has to reach out to Beijing and to start engaging with China to find some sort of solution which will mean of course backing away from the uh basically sort of absolutist reinforcing the Zelensky line rhetoric that's been coming out of Washington pretty well continuously since the beginning of the conflict so I also feel the he's probably right about that that we do need to recognize China's growing diplomatic power in the world as he says it'll be a first for them to actually negotiate an international peace agreement of course America was in that position at the beginning of the 20th century when it stepped in to sort out the end of the First World War that didn't actually turn out too well so let's hope that's not unprecedented here great stuff okay well that's all we have time for do join us on Friday when we'll be bringing you the latest news and also answering listeners questions goodbye ACAS powers the world's best podcast here's a show that we recommend there's a twin mattress just laying on the floor there's a video camera that is set up on a tripod and then there's like a little lamp this is what we call a dungeon hi I'm Yardley Smith guess what season 12 of small town dicks is here she says I've never been more terrified in a room with a patient before as I am with this man here I say if you keep me on based on what I saw out there at the crime scene I'm gonna turn into a defense witness the hair on the back of my neck was standing up small town dicks season 12 is out now don't miss it hey cast helps creators launch grow and monetize their podcast everywhere a cast dot com