In the eyes of the Russian Government, Ukraine is an artificial construct. In some respects, this description is hard for Ukraine to shake off. The cause of this is how Ukraine has conducted its fight for salvation in the modern history.
For contrast, when Philip II of Macedon found his country encircled with enemies, he resorted to conspiratorial diplomatic maneuvering, military development and perfection, and appropriate spy networking. Although, with certainty, he made use of appropriation and outright panhandling, it was not his central thrust of leadership. Of course, comparing antiquity with the contemporary is not the best premise, nonetheless, in regards to the dynamics of both situations, I will draw the comparison.
Ukraine has done well in establishing the fighting spirit of its military, even though their intelligence (prewar and now) has been woefully underdeveloped and incompetent. It is this ineffectiveness that led to Ukraine being placed into the defensive position they find themselves in today.
Essentially, to develop a defensive minded military would have proven a wise choice, making use of defensive strategy and creating fixed tactical implementation into the landscape, rather than postponing such practices until an invasion force had penetrated hundreds of kilometers into your land and then taking severe defensive action. Also, establishing a defensive minded political stance, rather than an offensive minded one, which went so far as announcing (perhaps comedically) Ukraine’s desire to possess nukes. Comedic or not, such things should best be left unsaid and not joked about.
So what now exists is the state of mind of a beggar state.
This is not war.
The Ukrainians are not doing well. They’re waging war on our dime.
Russia is about to unleash another wave of destruction, on top of the power grid destruction and artillery crushing they’ve given the Ukrainians.
KIA and Casualty Record:
Ukraine 500,000 Casualties / 135,000 KIA
Russia 75,000 Casualties / 25,000 KIA
More death and destruction is coming to Ukraine.
The question that I have asked throughout this war is the same. Although the GDP of the nations against Russia is approximately 30 to 1, there exist an enormous chain of variables that must be calculated into the equation. The most critical are: How long is NATO able and willing to continue to fund the Ukrainian war effort? And, how long is NATO able and willing to continue to supply Ukraine with war materials?
If Russia has continued to stockpile modern war materials for the past eight decades, and managed to advance their military into the modern era, I make a projection that they can maintain their level of war power for many years to come.
US Declaration of War
While the Russian Government labels the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines last September as “an act of international terrorism,” if the acts were accomplished by US Navy dive teams, they are more than acts of terrorism, they are acts of war.
If the US did execute this military act it has elevated its participation in the Ukraine War.
One of my blog predictions last fall was that Russia’s main objectives in its impending offensive would be to retake Kharkov. The city and region are critical for many reasons, providing critical access for logistical provision, as well as offering proper northern stability for any future thrusts westward, beyond the Dnieper.
The capture of Hrianykivka, 144 kilometers east of Kharkov, is another step toward capturing Lyman—another of my predictions. By using Lyman as a multi-pivot—a northern pincer envelopment north of Bakhmut, and a southern pivot point to secure a left (southern) flank—the city becomes a valuable sequence on the way toward the Kharkov objective. I cited Lyman, numerous times, as a critical capture for future maneuvers, and now the city is taking on a prominent significance, not only of oblast importance, but for Russia to establish added control over the E40 Highway.
The E40 Highway is a main artery that cuts not only through Ukraine, but throughout Europe. What makes the highway critical in the Russo-Ukraine War, is not only its placement in regard to logistics throughout the Donetsk Oblast, but it is a major connection route from Donetsk all the way to Kharkov, and Kiev beyond.
It is this connection that has turned Bakhmut into a hell on earth battle.
If Russia expanded the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the equivalent of NATO, to Mexico, would we react? Yes, without doubt, and justifiably so.
That’s what NATO has been doing for decades.
This isn’t Putin’s war, it’s the Russian people who have insisted he protect their borders.
History tells us that Russia is willing and capable to lose tens of millions of people to win this war, are we?
Russia lost upwards of 40-50,000,000 to defeat Germany just 80 years ago.
Without doubt, we’re not willing to lose even close to that amount.
This fact, plus the logistical impossibility of this war, is why I say that the US and NATO cannot win this war.
It’s not an emotional response. It is a pure mathematical (military) equation.
War is a vicious business that is black and white, absent of any shade or color.
There are those who believe war is over in a year. It’s not.
Unlike a sporting event, there is no time limit, no time outs, no penalties.
All is fair.
There are others who think an enemy is flawed in their strategy or tactics, but forget that war is not won on the battlefield—it is won in a war room, most times hundreds of miles away from the battlefield.
There are still others who think that war is won by the strong and the tough. Again, it’s not.
It’s won by coolheaded planning and calculation.
These principles are ingrained into war doctrine like blood flowing through a human being.
Here is the truth:
Only one side can’t turn on their lights in more than 75 percent of their country.
Only one side has had their cities pounded into near oblivion.
Only one side is going to run out of their military hardware and munitions before the war concludes.
Only one side cannot build their weapons and munitions and has to beg for their tools of war.
This is the reality of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Photos: Andrew Stutesman, Jens Johnsson