Ask (almost) anyone outside Russia about the conflict in Ukraine and they will say Russia is losing it. There is nothing silly or unbalanced about that, because that is exactly how it looks if you read the media and look at maps. There is very little of Ukraine under Russian boots after more than almost six weeks of combat. Russia may well be in control of the airspace over the whole country and able to strike with disastrous effect anywhere on the ground (as foreign mercenaries know well). But you don’t win wars by air power alone. A victory can only be measured in square kilometres held, and some or all of those Sq Kms must be in major urban and industrial areas. And you cannot claim precise aims like denazification as having been fulfilled if you have not subjected all areas of population to rigorous screening and the subjugation of the bases of such ideology. It may be possible (perhaps) to claim demilitarisation has been effected if you destroy the vast majority of the country’s military infrastructure, its command structure, and the bulk of its armed forces, but such can easily be reformed, rebuilt and resupplied from outside.
All of these things I expect are well known to the Swedish and Finnish hierarchy, and will have been explained to them in detail by the smooth-tongued lizards of the west. And so, what else could they be expected to do in the face of a weakened Russia? Joining NATO would seem to be the safe and only sensible option.
This is the bind that Russia’s strategy of care for people in Ukraine and the lands they have already liberated – which was their initial and major goal – has led the Russian leadership to face. Now Russia has a problem. All will have been in vain unless they fulfill the other two goals expressed above. How is that now to be achieved?
I have wondered about that since the initial rush and impulse of troops insertion which all too soon became a crawl. I remember saying on that first day, it will all be over in a few days. And I don’t think I was the only one to be caught out in that. I would never criticise Russia’s military planners, because they had a plan and they worked to it. And that plan is all but achieved now. But it won’t be and never could be enough to secure the security of the Donbass republics, or the newly liberated Black Sea coastal areas. In a few months, no matter what agreements are signed, it would all begin again – just set back some distance on newly formed borders. Only if Russia makes a play for the whole of Ukraine, then permitting Poland and Romania to take a share of the western regions, of which at some earlier stage they were the owners, and in which Russia has no special interest. And also by ensuring a rational and unaligned government is built in Kiev to govern what remains of its recent land holdings and sworn to remain unaligned and free from western influence, would they be able to reasonably ensure the security of Donbass’ future.
Is that what is going to happen? Or is Russia just going to be content with liberating Donbass and the coast? On that question rests the future of Europe, Eurasia and perhaps the whole world.
I rest in the confidence that Russia’s leaders have already stated their position to achieve the full plan and all of its objectives. Which would mean the end of NATO and a Europe free from US military influence. Both Sweden and Finland would swiftly I think jump in the opposite direction. But it would always be remembered that they are weak links and fair-weather friends. They would not be by themselves of course.
All of that is ahead of us. And as such is merely conjecture. But conjecture based on what has been offered as a course of action. And those doing the offering are not known for making idle statements – or half-cocked plans which are beyond their capabilities.
How all that is going to be achieved I have no idea. But I believe those who need to know, already do.
Exciting times we live in, no?