Blackwater founder: “You’re not going to out-conventional war the Russian bear”

9:57 10.03.2024 •

Founder and CEO of Blackwater Erik Prince
Photo: Getty Images

The West should let Russia keep Crimea and Donbass in order to freeze the conflict, Erik Prince has said speaking to the podcast PBD.

Erik Dean Prince is an American businessman, former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, and the founder of the private military company Blackwater. He served as Blackwater's CEO until 2009 and as its chairman until its sale to a group of investors in 2010. Prince heads the private equity firm Frontier Resource Group and was chairman of the Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group until 2021.

The West should pull the plug on the Ukraine conflict as soon as possible because it will not be able to outperform Russia’s defense industry, Erik Prince, founder of the American private military company Blackwater has said.

Speaking to the podcast PBD, Prince, who served as the CEO of the mercenary group until 2009 and now heads Frontier Resource Group, a private equity fund, expressed doubts about whether Kyiv and its Western backers could prevail in the conflict with Russia, which has just entered its third year.

“We need to bring this war to a close because all Ukraine is doing right now is destroying itself demographically,” he said, adding that hostilities are “chewing up the next generation of Ukrainian manpower,” which will be almost impossible to replace.

“The Western defense base is pathetic and you’re not going to out-conventional war the Russian bear,” Prince argued.

According to the former US Navy SEAL, in this light, the “ugly peace” and a freeze in hostilities would be a better option both for Kyiv and its Western supporters than “whatever their idea of an ideal war is,” adding “let them [Russia] keep Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk. Whatever.”

The majority Russian-speaking Autonomous Republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia in a 2014 referendum after a Western-backed coup in Kyiv. Donetsk and Lugansk, regions which had declared independence from Ukraine, followed suit in September, 2022 after the start of the current conflict.

However, Prince did not mention Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, which also held successful referendums to join Russia in the fall of 2022.

“It’s not the American taxpayer’s obligation to spend another hundred billion in Ukraine when there’s been significant corruption and really nothing to show for it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk appeared to agree with Prince. Commenting on the Blackwater CEO’s quotes, which were cited by American investor David Sacks, he wrote on X (formerly Twitter, banned in Russia): “Unfortunately, that is true.”

Russia maintains it is open to talks on Ukraine; however, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning talks with the current leadership in Moscow after the referendums in Kyiv’s four former regions, which it immediately condemned as illegitimate.

At the same time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last year that Moscow is opposed to a freeze in the Ukraine conflict, saying that it will not stop until its goals are accomplished and national interests protected by military or other means. Russia has repeatedly said that its main goals are to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine.


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