I have waited and waited, wondering why no commentor or commentator (as someone who never seeks to walk on the safe side – in my writing at least) has seen the obvious on what the much discussed ‘Kherson’ interlude is all about. No-one, not a single one, has hit the nail squarely on the head – except me, and I haven’t really voiced my opinion yet.
I made an attempt to justify the move (to surrender Kherson to Ukraine) as a solid military decision, pending “…preparing for the next stage of the SVO”, in my recent ‘The Only Thing To Be Done…‘ post, but I never ventured to provide reasons. In any case, my opinion is easily discountable as being not that of an expert. Not that I ever wanted to be an ‘ex-‘ anything. ‘Ex-‘ being a prefix carrying the meaning of ‘from’, ‘out of’, or ‘used to be’ – from which the term ‘has-been’ is derived. Coupled with ‘pert’ (adorably rude and cheeky, esp. of women), would make of experts, male ones anyway, not so ‘adorably rude and cheeky has-beens’. I will be happy to stay well clear of that, thank you.
Now, where was I? Oh yes – Reasons for Kherson back-step. Here is a very recent, like today (Nov 13), fresh piece by Big Serge Thoughts (I’m on his email list). And it is, I dare to say, the very best offering I have so far seen (it would be difficult to top it).
‘Surovkin’s Difficult Choice- Russia Abandons Kherson’ – Big Serge Thoughts
Now, at the risk of spoiling a good thing, I want to build on that with some thoughts of my own, which I would have thought to be perfectly obvious.
First, some basic principles. Russia is nothing if not a ‘principled nation’, and it works on the basis of sound, ethical principles. Everything it does is based on that precept.
Second, Russian military leadership, training and military resources are perhaps the best in the world.
Third, Russia values the lives of its soldiers, both volunteers and conscripts. None of them are wasted unnecessarily.
Fourth, Russia, knowing the west, and particularly the US, to be ‘agreement incapable’, would never enter into any agreement with that nation (and I mean never again, ever) on anything that relies on that side’s honesty and integrity – because they have none.
So, with that in mind, and also bearing in mind everything that Big Serge said in his article – which I hope you have already read, why would Russia want to pointlessly continue hammering away, twice outnumbered by the enemy on the previous Kherson front line, in the way they had been doing since March? Albeit with minimal casualties while inflicting meaningful and debilitating casualties on the enemy in both men and materiel. Also knowing that until they are ready, and that seemed an unlikely event on that local front, they would never be able to press forward with sufficient force to gain meaningful advantage towards their given goals. It was likely to never happen due to cost factors. In fact it did not make any sense to do so.
So, with the additional threats of entrapment by flooding, among others, they made the only wise choice. They are now set, with a solid and unmovable defence line. I believe they will never attempt to cross the Dniepr while ever there are foreign troops on the other side. But they will remove them by other means.
Also, based on the fourth principle mentioned above, any and all talk of ‘secret’ agreements between Russia and the US, are simply the brainwaves of cluttered thinking in the minds of ‘experts’ incapable of free thought outside of entrenched lines. No such idea can possibly be valid.
So, how will this impasse be solved in such a way that Russia gets everything it wants? And believe me, nothing less will satisfy or bring an end to this action. Nothing.
The west is already dead, but still making noises and movements. Pointlessly. They no longer have anything the world wants or needs. They may as well no longer exist, or at least limit themselves (or be limited) to scrambling around in their own ghettoed enclaves, beyond the impenetrable wall of the westernmost border of the new Eurasian world. This, the establishment of that bulkhead, is the whole point – since the west will have it no other way – of the Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine. The rest of the world will become shut off from the west.
How is this to be achieved? I make it clear here that these are my own ideas. I have no knowledge as to what Russia and its many friends and allies have in mind to bring this about. And my ideas represent but one way to implement that.
We have seen for almost nine months now, a numerically inferior Russian force make inroads into Ukraine and realise remarkable achievements, including adding almost 20% of Ukraine to returned Russian ownership with several million new citizens. That could never be sustained while the Ukraine military was being aided by NATO in terms of both manpower and vast quantities of materiel. Russia is satisfied now, that it can hold all the territory it has so far liberated, and in fact is still adding to that territory. In all those nine months, Ukraine has inflicted no meaningful losses on Russian military, nor been the victor in any major battles. But this is not enough.
The first thing Russia needs to do is to shore up its lines where there is no realisable goal in moving forward further into Ukraine territory. That is a simple task of engineering works and the addition of some of the newly mobilised troops in places where more strength is needed. I suspect most of this work has either been completed or is in progress. Only in those few areas where further progress is desirable should any further activity be considered. And those places are largely identifiable on maps of the region.
Then, and I think this is likely to occur during the depths of winter, one or more totally separate fronts should be opened, this time with a numerically superior force to penetrate – with all the air and artillery, naval launched missiles, etc. in full support – deep into the interior of Ukraine, driving south to liberate all regions east of the Dniepr river, and taking the current eastern Ukraine defences in the rear, then crossing the river, driving west to Transdniestria and south to eliminate Ukrainer forces (which will inevitably be mostly foreign nationals) and free north Kherson, again from the rear, and clearing Odessa and south-western parts.
This is the minimum essential victory for Russia. Then, where it goes from there is up to the west to decide. Play or fold. Either way the result will be the same. A decapitated west and a new secure world order centred on Eurasia. Western institutions abolished or reformed with impartiality as key.
I suggest that if there is to be only one new front, it will originate from and cover the
Chercassy (I meant of course, Chernigev) and Sumy regions, bypassing, cutting off, starving and reducing Kharkov over time. If there are to be two new fronts, and believe me Russia has the capability to do this, then the other one should cut off all western resupply from eastern NATO nations. It would not need to do anything more than that, and possibly act as a plug in the bottle to prevent any unlikely NATO incursion. NATO leadership would have, in any case, probably been removed beforehand.
I’m being deliberately vague here. My only intention being to stretch the boundaries of the limited thinking I have seen so far in most of the material I have read recently. In fact I can personally see no other valid ending.
Because I haven’t checked, apologies for any grammatical flaws or typos. Nothing else.