|Russia on Mexico's border would be unacceptable. When the Warsaw Pact
tried it in Cuba, it almost led to a nuclear war (Plan A) below.
This war is entering a new phase.
Russia really wants to avoid the bloody, high casualty infrastructure destruction type of warfare that would make Ukraine a post war rubble pile failed state (almost as bad as having NATO on your border). Instead, the invasion seeks to "reshape" the country to Russia's liking, getting rid of the Nazi militias, inflicting as little civilian casualties as possible (hence the ceasefires and opening of humanitarian corridors). Putin has lost the war perceptually in the West but he must have been prepared for the massive 24/7 propaganda campaign run against him in Western media him before he invaded; just like the one ran against him when Putin bailed out Assad in Syria. Only, this time far bigger and more hysterical.
Militarily, the war is going as Russia planned. It is a shame that NATO countries are sending weapons to Ukraine urging them to fight a war they cannot win and by fighting can only prolong it and lead to more death and destruction. Every Javelin anti-tank shoulder mounted weapon NATO ship to Ukraine, the further it increases the likelihood of prolonged battle and civilian casualties in a military war that cannot be won. It seems the Russians may be forced, as a Roman general once said, "To create a desert and call it peace".
This is definitely something Putin does not want and will try everything to avoid. Russia ultimately would like to negotiate a peace with a government ideally recognized by the rest of the world and you can't do that if the country is in ruins or you've murdered millions of civilians. Hence, the opening of humanitarian corridors from every besieged city.
However, there is the lingering question, and it's hard for me to even comprehend this but it is being asked, which is, does this thing go nuclear? A 2019 Princeton University simulation on the escalation to nuclear war called Plan A, chillingly started out as conflict in Eastern Europe. And with the hysteria being whipped up in the Western media and talks of a Western no fly zone even being discussed, one wonders if the post Covid public are being battered to demand something like this from a deranged media apparatus, which is insane unless you love dying in nuclear fire.
This will not happen since the military part of the war is winding down.
One large area of discussion in Western media is why it is taking so long for the Russians to capture Kiev or create a cauldron/total encirclement of the Ukrainian forces in Donbass. Let's take a look at the numbers. I don't see the slowness Western media is championing as proof that Russia is losing this war or even suffering unexpected losses.
By the numbers...
Russia has allegedly committed 234,000 ground troops versus Ukraine's 125,000 troops. Russia has allegedly amassed 1,200 tanks of various types, mainly T-72s and T-90s in unknown proportions. And 1500 APCs and uncountable numbers of Ural supply trucks. Against all this, Ukraine fields 620 T-64s, 100TBM Bulat's, 133 T-72s (all of it old Warsaw pact equipment) which is not going to cut it as this conflict resolves. Ukraine's air force was wiped out in the first 48 hrs.
Also, remember, Ukraine in area is 233,000 square miles. In Gulf War II, it took the US and its coalition partners 41 days to capture Iraq (a country of 169,000 square miles) and six days to capture Baghdad against far lesser trained troops and an obsolete army with no NATO supplied state-of-the-art ATGMs or Stinger AA missiles. And neither were the Iraqis being supplied with satellite data as I'm sure NATO is providing the Ukrainian high command. And neither did the coalition care so much about civilian casualties. So, we could only possibly call the Russian advance slow if Ukraine hasn't surrendered by sometime in mid-April.
The Russians have used their older equipment first as a kind of cannon fodder to probe Ukrainian positions and hardpoints with the Ukrainians claiming outrageous Russian losses, like 5000 Russian troops killed. This just does not pass the smell test. For comparison, on D-Day on June 6th,1944 to 25 days later, when the Allies had fought their way off those bloody Normandy beaches and driven inland in horrible bocage country ideal for German defenders, the Allies lost a total of 2,811 men. How the Russians could have lost twice that many in one third of that time simply cannot be true. It would be impossible to hide losses of that scale in an era of camera phones and satellite monitoring.
Actual Russian losses are probably high by Western standards, but Russia always fights its wars with a high threshold for losses that would make Western populations riot. That was one lesson the US took away from Vietnam and rectified in Gulf War I and II.
In an era of camera phones, one mutilated soldier posted on the Internet can go viral and sway an entire country's thirst for war. Add a few photos of dead babies on 24hrs news channels and you can turn a sizeable portion of your population into attack dogs baying for "justice". War is a fickle and dangerous thing. The first casualty is truth. The second casualty is reason.
Remember the picture on the below left? That boy is Omran Daqneesh, who appeared on the front page of every Western newspaper in 2016 supposedly pulled from the rubble of a Russian air strike in Syria. It allowed NATO to launch 200 cruise missiles at Syria and Assad. Turns out, the entire thing was staged, the dust and blood were all fake and there he is fine with his dad in 2017 explaining how the Syrian "rebels" forced him to do it.
|Media manipulation is disgusting and it gets people killed. It's a psy-op on one's own citizens.
Russia has already lost the media war in Western countries in a huge way. But that is more testimony to the overwhelming power of mass media and its manipulation of the average man on the street in the West. Russia is holding its own in China and India. Both countries abstained to condemn the Russian attack at the UN Security Council. They want Russian oil and gas and have the luxury of sitting back and watching Europe implode and wait for the post war Russians to come ready to make cheap new energy deals with them.
Russia knew the cost of taking Ukraine in advance. The US probably did too. You've got to give US intelligence credit when they predicted the attack in the weeks before. Biden may be an empty suit but the vast web of entrenched power behind him (no matter who they push in front of the cameras) was right. The US has no particular interest in fighting this war besides its weakening of Russia and its separation from Europe. A united Eurasia is always a danger to US hegemony in the West and increasing economic ties with Russia were mutually beneficial for Europe.
This war has now sunk the Nordstream II energy pipeline and condemned the Europeans to import the 25% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas it had been buying from Russia. Now that must come by sea from the lovely head chopping off misogynist Arabian Sheiks at a higher price and, crucially, be paid for in dollars which suits the US just fine. The US is okay with sitting back, watching the carnage and supplying some weaponry so the whole macabre show can go on longer.
Russia has adapted its military strategy on the fly. The opening of the humanitarian corridors is another wise move. Remember, here is a map of the languages spoken in Ukraine.
Remarkable isn't it, how closely this map matches up with the territory in Ukraine almost now captured by the Russians? As we know Russia has conducted few major airstrikes on Kiev. They could easily have destroyed the government buildings were Zelensky is supposedly holed up like the way the US did in Iraq in 2003 when it shock-and-awed all of Saddam Hussein's palaces, blew up all power generation, cut off communications and squashed the city into darkness.
Not so in Kiev. Nope, the lights are still on, you can still walk to the supermarket and buy bread; that's if you can avoid the fighting gangster mobs who Zelensky handed thousands of AK rifles to who now seem more intent on using them to settle internecine old scores amongst each other than waste ammo using them to fight Russians.
The humanitarian corridor and evacuation at Mariupol is being hampered by the Ukrainian Neo Nazi Azov divisions who need the 95% Russian speaking population there as human shields in case the Russians resort to artillery or bombing. These groups are funded by shady foreign money and ex oligarchs, still pissed at Putin for ending their asset stripping of the Soviet Union after its fall and lack of leadership under permanently inebriated Yeltsin during the 1990s.
|Ukrainian Azov Division. A lovely group of Nazis according to Western Media.
Ironically, it was NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999 which ultimately brought Putin to power. The Russian people had had just about enough of Western style "democracy" by then and Putin stepped in and was elected soon after. Sure, I'm not going to say Putin is a saint; very far from it. But neither is George Bush the Younger or Tony Blair who killed or starved a million Iraqi's and they're free men who lied their countries into a war. One now paints bad portraits on his ranch, the other made a few hundred million in backroom deals and 'speaking fees' and regularly appears on TV pushing the globalist agenda. Where were the screaming crowds or calls for assassinations of Western leaders when NATO did this to Belgrade in 1999?
|Belgrade 1999. Not a holiday destination.
The Russian strategy of humanitarian corridors has multiple purposes beyond the one's already stated. It does allow the Russians to consolidate its logistics issues. But more importantly, Russia want's to de-Nazify the hard core Neo Nazi groups sprinkled around the country. The Ukrainian air force has been wiped out, their missile systems are neutralized and the remaining ground troops are scattered and entrenched in cities where removing them will be impossible without massive civilian casualties and infrastructure damage.
Allowing these large humanitarian convoys from all major cities means that the Russians consider the major tactical part of this war over, with fierce mopping up operations as the only task left. If the Ukrainians had any credible military command and control structure left, why not knock out that 40-mile-long convoy of sitting duck Russian fuel, food and ammunition trucks north of Kiev? The reason is because they can't. To the extent the Ukrainian's have a strategy, I guess it is to drag the war on for as long as possible while hoping to get other countries involved.
The Russian's strategy will remain much the same. I would imagine they will surround the cities, sit in Forward Operating Bases in artillery range of cities, allow civilians to leave hoping that the Ukrainian military and Azov divisions leave for the West of Ukraine which is primarily Ukrainian speaking, has not been attacked and can be a buffer zone of sorts. This is the same strategy the Russians used in Syria, using the Syrian Army to surround cities but not storm them allowing ISIS to trickle out to the north around Idlib province where they have more or less wilted or at least been isolated and contained. By no means am I saying this plan will work or saying I'm sure this is even the Russian plan, but it is how the Russians handled things in Syria and it worked there. Either way, the main country v country part of this war is over. The Russians have won militarily however long the fighting drags on.
It's ugly but there's no turning back at this point.
In the medium to long term, I would imagine a slow civilian return to their homes and some kind of internationally observed election process or, if this fails, a possible division of the country with Russian annexation of the Black Sea coast cities and all territory east of the Dnieper and Kiev. The Ukrainians may have to settle for the former Polish city of Lviv as a capital of "New Ukraine". (Of course, this is pure speculation on my part). The Russians may just take it all.
Ugly, messy and horrific but go ahead and name a "nice war".
As far as winners go, well it certainly isn't Russia in the short term, and it certainly isn't Ukraine. Russia will win militarily but Russian citizens will suffer from sanctions for the foreseeable future. Will this weaken Putin's control? That we cannot yet know. It will be interesting to see if business with China can make up shortfalls in consumer goods and banking and help Putin maintain public support as they weather the Western blockade.
Russia will now switch all of its diplomatic relations to the East, the new emerging centers of global finance, growth, manufacturing and open new pipelines for it's oil and gas to India and China and Asia in a relationship which could be mutually beneficial; Russian oil can solve China's huge weakness, it's reliance on energy imports via sea lanes which the US Blue Water Navy can blockade at any time.
|Expect more pipelines East in the coming years.
The US wins the war in the short term but they will have to consider fracking and going energy independent again in the medium term to control their own energy prices and their inflationary problems. An Iran nuclear deal, could allow Iranian oil back on world markets which would make up shortfalls. As would sanctioned Venezuelan oil. There are only so many countries you can sanction and not destroy yourself in the process.
Europe, on the other hand, suffers another huge refugee crisis it cannot afford, massive energy inflation which results in cost-of-living expenses in an EU block already suffering vast Covid disruptions, massive pension obligations, and growing public dissatisfaction even before this war started. The ECB is not in a healthy position. Brexit and the yellow vest movement in France have shown that an EU dominated by Germany is unstable. Couple that with dissatisfaction and lower standards of living in countries like Spain, Italy and Greece and Europe will take a further blow by this war.
In the end, the future is unsustainable.
In the end, we all lose.
And as we lose, expect more war.