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First, I want to introduce the parties to the conflict and describe their intermediate tasks and ultimate goals (see the table below).
The first thing we notice is that the three main actors (the US, the UK, the Baltics and Poland, as well as the EU and Ukraine) want to force Russia to intervene. Why? Because, as I have written a million times, the goal is not to defeat Russia by military means; the goal is to defeat Russia politically. Any Russian intervention will be used by the Anglo-Saxons to “prove” that “NATO is vital to European security,” and the Baltic-Polish-Ukrainian gang will prove its usefulness to its Anglo masters.
As for the Nazi regime in Kiev, its main goal is to survive, to blame Russia for the destruction of Ukraine and to get rid of disloyal territories. The fact that these Eastern Ukrainian territories will be liberated and / or recognized by Russia will allow the Ukronazis to declare an eternal state of emergency, destroy what little opposition remains, calling them “traitors / collaborators” and blame any internal problems on Russia.
For the LPNR, everything is much simpler, in the literal sense: they need to survive for a fairly long time – until Russia is forced to intervene.
Now let’s see what results the main parties want to avoid:
Now we can see what “tools” each side has.
It is absolutely important to keep the following in mind:
– Neither the Ukronazis nor their bosses in the West believe for half a second that Ukraine can win by military means. They all “know” that the LPR in alliance with Russia will win any military confrontation, and their goal is to ensure the bloody defeat of Ukraine.
– The main goal of the current strategic psychological operation is not the Russians, but the Ukrainian people: telling them that a) you now have a super-duper Wunderwaffen and b) we will cover you, the West wants to convince the Ukrainians that they are safe from such an outcome
– The Russians “know” that this is a trap. The problem is that every month Ukraine acquires more and more opportunities, no, not to defeat Russia, but to force Russia to swallow the bait. Remember their idiotic attempt to break through under the Crimean bridge? This whole thing with Bayraktars (whatever it really is) is the same. Until now, there is still no evidence that the ukry attacked the Bayraktars in the LPNR. But unlike the Ukrainian Navy, which does not exist, Ukraine has at its disposal from 6 to 12 (depending on information sources) Bayraktar with a range of 150 km and a range of weapons of 8 km. If and when future Bayraktars ultimately fail, as it does, the ukry could even use outdated tactical cruise missiles. In other words, and only in this sense, time is on the side of ukrov – the more the West provides them with toys for provocation (but not for victory), the worse the internal situation, the more incentives they have to produce something really provocative.
In the last couple of days, I have played for the no-fly zone over the LPNR. And I still stand for it. But I must clarify the following: any no-fly zone over the LPNR established by Russia will be used by the West in order to send ukrov towards death, thereby, again, in order to escalate the conflict. Yes, a no-fly zone would give Russia more time, but does it need even more time, and if so, how much?
I do not think so. Yes, in the period from 2013 to 2021 for Russia, time was vital in order to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances. But now I think that any further delays would be counterproductive – as a result, Russia will look weak and indecisive, and it will not bring any objective benefits (neither military nor political). Militarily, economically and politically, Russia is now stronger than at any other time in a very long time.
In all fairness, the entire Ukrainian question is just the tip of a much larger political iceberg: it looks like the united West needs to be hit hard by Russia again (politically and militarily).
I want to illustrate the Russian approach with the following personal recollection. Many years ago, in 1993, I spent a whole night talking to two officers of a special forces unit whose main task was to protect Russian nuclear weapons not with passive, static means of defense, but with active methods of countering penetration. They did not stand around the weapons as sentries, but did what an attacker would do – hid in the immediate vicinity of the deployment site and tried to detect any intruder even before he approached the Russian nuclear weapons. They mentioned their training and one of them said the following:
“Yes, of course, we study martial arts, but for us running around a hot room in karategi or in shorts (he meant typical clothes worn by karate or MMA fighters) does not make sense. Our territory is taiga, so we need to train, fight, even hand-to-hand, in full winter combat gear with a backpack, weapons, ammunition, food, a radio station and much more (the weight can easily reach 50 kg). In this terrain, in which only we are truly trained to survive, we can run in circles around any invading Western super-duper special forces, we can watch them slowly die without even engaging with them, and then when they are too weak, exhausted and desperate to even move, we will go out and just spit at them without even firing a single bullet. “
1000 years of war for existence have taught Russians not to rush, to wait, even long – until their enemy is weakened to the extreme, and you gain maximum strength before engaging in battle with him. But this approach has its potential negative aspect – it will not work against an enemy who was sent not to win, but to defeat.
If your enemy is determined to fail, then you really have no choice but how and when to defeat him.
Moreover, ukry are not enemies, they have no way of influencing the situation and controlling it. The real enemy is the West, and Russia must defeat this collective West, not its Ukrainian cannon fodder.
Even if the Russians manage to somehow divert ukry from the brink of the abyss (which has already happened twice in the past), this only guarantees that next time ukry will come up with an even more “provocative provocation.” So why wait any longer?
So, the real battle is not for the LPR and not for Ukraine; it is a battle for the future of the European continent. Russia must do what it did with Georgia
About once every hundred years, the rulers of Europe like to unite to attack Russia. The past teaches them nothing, because they are too narcissistic and too ideologized to see that they are ideological heirs Napoleon and Hitler (and many others before these two).
For the Kremlin, I see no other option than to “remind” these Western ruling elites of how their previous attempts ended. And they need to do this not with words or even military exercises inside Russia, but with actions – clear, unambiguous and clearly visible actions. Nothing but this kind of action will bring the Western ruling classes back to reality.
PS: I have listened / read Russian corporate / social networks, and they say a lot about “enough is enough”. Interestingly, talk show hosts also express their frustration with what they see as a non-existent response from the Kremlin. With each provocation of ukrov, the percentage of Russians who say “well, that’s enough!” Could this be an explanation for the Kremlin’s inaction? Are they waiting there until the percentage of Russians in favor of direct action reaches a certain level?
Just to clarify: when I mean that Russia needs to act, I’m not talking about hours or days, but about weeks and months. But nothing more.
By the way, the Pentagon is now asking all its EU colonies to sell lethal weapons systems to Ukraine.
Author: Andrey Raevsky – published under the pseudonym The Saker – a blogger widely known in the West. Born in Zurich (Switzerland). Father is Dutch, mother is Russian. Served as an analyst in the Swiss Armed Forces and in the UN research structures. He specializes in the study of post-Soviet states. Lives in Florida (USA).
Translation by Sergey Dukhanov… Published with permission from the author.
* Three Baltic republics and Poland