Ode to Europe
”Sanctions from hell are working well, destiny of Europe is horrified, backfire that glorified”
Military situation in Ukraine, in early May
Secrets of Mariupol are disclosed soon
Mariupol situation appears to be finally nearing a conclusion, within next couple of days. The plant region appears to be surrounded and captured by Russian forces except the main factory complex, where the civilians and militias are all hiding. The UN/Red Cross negotiators arrived and operation has been under way to evacuate the last civilians from the Azovstal factory. About 80 civilian people were managed to get out from there on Sunday but it is still unclear how many are left.
Anyway, there will be no humanitarian corridors for the Azov militias and foreign mercenaries go. The only chance for them is to surrender. The remaining Azov/marine militants & foreign mercenaries are said to be numbered in the 2000 range, upwards of 600 or more of them are said to be wounded or incapacitated. Foreigners are assessed to be Americans, Canadians, British, Germans, French and some Swedish and Danish.
Over ten foreign mercenaries and foreign military servicemen, incl. special service men, have been found dead or injured so far in Ukraine. Some are now as POWs in Russian custody, among them two British SAS special service men.
Assessing goals of war by Russia
Based on open sources of information, it seems that Russia’s goals of the special military operation, as they call the invasion of Ukraine, are broadly:
- Putin’s proposals published on December 17, 2021
- no further expansion of NATO (Ukraine, Georgia)
- removal of missiles sites in Poland and Romania
- de-nazification and neutralization of Ukraine
- “liberation” of Donbas region of eastern Ukraine
- “liberation” of the whole southern region of Ukraine (the coast region of Azov and Black Sea), including Odesa region and Transnistria, by this way prohibiting the access of Ukraine to Black Sea
This was described as part of the newly launched (April 19, 2022) “second phase” of Russia’s operation, which has focused on completely securing the key southeast port city of Mariupol. Control over the south of Ukraine is also another way to Transnistria, where is the Russian-speaking population.
On April 27, 2022, President Putin warned that if any other country intervenes in Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Russia will launch a quick-fire military response. Speaking to lawmakers, Putin said that “if anyone sets out to intervene in the current events from the outside and creates unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature, they should know that our response… will be lightning-fast.”
The Russian leader said that the military would not hesitate to use the most modern weaponry. “We have all the tools for this, that no one else can boast of having. We won’t boast about it: we’ll use them, if needed, and I want everyone to know that,” Putin said. “We have already taken all the decisions on this.” Putin has frequently touted Russia’s development of modern weaponry, including hypersonic missiles and the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile that was successfully tested earlier this month.
Assessing goals of war by the US/NATO/Ukraine
Based on open sources of information, there seems to be following features found in recent news material:
Military situation on the ground seems to be such that Pentagon has begun planning military operations for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in Donbas to contain the Russian army. It is becoming increasingly clear that the grand strategy is to slowly abandon the Donbas region but slow down and attrition the Russian forces as much as possible, while simultaneously reconstituting a massively armed new NATO-standard army in the West. NATO and US both released statements that they are readying for a “long war” of up to 10 years in Ukraine.
Key point is that the battles for Donbas exhaust the Russian army and last for several months. Using time, the AFU will receive western modern heavy weapons and will be able to launch a massive counteroffensive in the South of Ukraine. According to chief presidential advisor Arestovich (to President Zelensky), Ukraine will be ready to create mass counter-offensives starting in mid to late June.
So, in short, their entire strategy is to stall Russian forces in the east as much as possible by conducting slow, orderly retreats, even if it means eventually giving up the entire Donbas. Then by late June, they expect to be able to retake it with massive new Ukrainian offensives utilizing newly reconstituted reserves armed with full NATO arsenals, from German tanks to American F-16’s and everything in between.
The British Ministry of Defense expects Putin to formally declare war on Ukraine on May 9th and begin mass mobilization. This could be complete propaganda on their behalf or it could be another case of “self-fulfilling prophesies”, just like when they “predicted” Russia would invade in February.
Ukraine’s strategy is to try to bleed Russia in Donbas as much as possible before the eventual collapse and pull out, then “hope” for huge amounts of reserves from the west of the country so they can be armed with new NATO weapons for a big summer operation, a “New Barbarossa Offensive” to ironically start by June 22.
Summer War in Europe
The war seems to be escalated in a crucial way within a next four – five weeks. Poland, supported and led by the US military and NATO, is planning incursion in Ukraine under the false flag of Polish “peacekeeping contingent” in the western part of Ukraine. Practical arrangements are now going under the legend of military exercises to bring Polish, Romanian and Moldavian troops in the vicinity of Ukrainian borders. The troops will be covered from the air by NATO fighters. All the decisions regarding this operation have reportedly been taken already by the US and NATO commanders, it is question of only practical execution.
A strike force of NATO countries near the borders of Ukraine and Belarus may amount up to 50.000 troops, even to 100.000. This includes units deployed by Poland and the American contingent and units of various NATO countries deployed in the framework of exercises in the Baltic states. Combat aircraft are also being transferred to Europe as well as heavy weapons for ground forces. In the shortest possible time, the size of the NATO contingent can be doubled.
Worrying event is the adoption by the US Congress of the lend-lease program for Ukraine. Delivery of large batches of modern weapons is expected soon. The war will reach a new level, because now Russia has to fight full time with the American military industry. Deliveries of American heavy weapons are expected soon, including F-16 aircraft. Ukraine is already preparing pilots for these aircrafts in the US. Now it should be understood that the war is between Russia and the US & NATO, where Ukraine is just the place of the war.
What is it all about? Is it really an “ordinary peacekeeping” mission? It is impossible to accurately assess the grouping of NATO countries, drawn to the borders of the Republic of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia, having only information from open sources. NATO’s ultimate strategy on this issue is currently not known but several options could be considered.
Firstly, this can be done for intimidation / deterrence of Russia and an attempt to put pressure on the course of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
Secondly, the West understands that Ukraine as a country no longer exists and see its future on the principle of occupation sectors.
Thirdly, this option is the most terrible but possible. NATO has decided to go all the way and, if lend-lease operation of heavy weapons and hybrid warfare do not stop the Russians, then regular units of Western countries will step in. This, of course, is a threat of the use of nuclear weapons. It looks utopian but, in the year of 2022, “das tolle Jahr Europa”, everything is possible.
Economic and societal situation in Europe
I have analyzed the economic development and situation regarding Europe and the US in my previous articles:
The longer Western sanctions isolate Russia and reduce energy supplies to European refiners, the higher energy prices will go. Even though Russian energy exports are declining, higher prices have enabled the country’s state-owned oil and gas companies to double revenue, thus stabilizing the ruble. Russia has reaped a whopping €62 billion from oil, gas and coal exports since the invasion of Ukraine began. The value of ruble has returned to pre-war level and even made better scores during last few days.
The EU has received around 40% of its gas, 46% of its coal and 30% of its oil from Russia — and there are no quick and easy substitutes if supplies are disrupted. Germany has been the biggest importer of Russian energy products in the last two months. German businesses and unions have warned a ban on energy products from Russia could severely impact industry and jobs.
In recent days, Moscow has doubled down on its demands that its European “partners” pay for its oil and gas in rubles instead of euros. Russia’s Gazprom said it is halting natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay in Russian rubles. So far, Western sanctions have backfired as Russia doubled fossil fuel revenues. What’s important to understand next is that Russian oil production is likely to drop further in the coming months and will tighten global supplies and boost energy prices which could mean higher revenues for Russia.
Europe is facing a deep economic and political crisis for their countries. Rising inflation and declining living standards are already taking a toll on the wallet and mood of Europeans. In addition, large-scale migration adds new challenges to old security threats, such as illegal drug distribution and transnational crime. Almost five million Ukrainian migrants have already arrived in Europe. In the near future, their number will grow to ten million. Most of the Ukrainians who have come to the West believe that Europeans should support and provide for them.
The flow of migrants from Ukraine began long before 2022 and now it reminds Europe of long-forgotten diseases. After all, only about a tenth of refugees from Ukraine are vaccinated against coronavirus infection, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, rubella and measles.
The anti-Russian sanctions have disturbed in a crucial way the supply chains and availability of many important fertilizers and therefore the world is gradually plunging into an unprecedented food crisis from late 2022 on. High energy prices and lack of fertilizers destruct agricultural production and tens of millions of people in Africa or the Middle East will be on the verge of starvation in 2023 – 2024, basically because of the sanctions imposed by the West.
To survive, they will rush to Europe, which is totally unprepared to receive this avalanche of migrants. Obviously, Europe will not survive this crisis. Europe’s political institutions, supranational associations, economy, culture, and societal harmony will become under exceptional stress in next three years.
The US is actively pumping its banks, businesses and the population with money secured by government obligations. The result was high rates of inflation in America and Europe. At the same time, the US external debt exceeded $30 trillion. To overcome the negative consequences, the United States want to solve their problems at the expense of the rest of the world, primarily Europe. However, this doesn’t seem to bother the Europeans. So far, they have been happy to step in the direction of the abyss that the US has dug for them. When the cold and hunger come in next autumn in Europe, perhaps other kind of Europeans will be seen on the streets then.
New World Order
The ongoing military conflict in Ukraine is a watershed event of immense historical significance. It marks a break from the past and the beginning of a new geopolitical reality. The military conflict in Ukraine is not about a narrow conflict between Ukraine and Russia. It is but the outward sign of a bigger confrontation between, on the one hand, the US-led Western order and, on the other, nations like Russia, China, India and others who refuse to accept a subordinate role.
The historical importance of the global tectonic shifts is evident from recent significant articles and other public statements, like those of Russian economist Sergey Glazyev and a Swiss currency strategist Zoltan Pozsar. Glazyev has been working for years in an official capacity on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). He details the evolution and implementation of a new financial global order that supersedes the US dollar-based system. The new order is being developed by Russia, China and others with the explicit purpose of becoming independent from the dominance of US and Western debt and currency regime.
On March 7th 2022, Zoltan Pozsar, who formerly worked at the NY Fed and currently is a strategist at Credit Suisse, published a research report titled “Bretton Woods III.” Pozsar makes the case that Bretton Woods III is a reversion back to a monetary system, in which currency is backed by commodities as opposed to being backed by a sovereign issuer’s “full faith and credit.”
Fiat currency is a “promise” to repay a debt obligation and nothing more. A hard asset-backed currency is a guarantee that repayment will occur. Now, when Russia announced the Russian ruble will be a general means of payment in international trade and is backed by commodities (oil, gas etc.), the real game-changer is emerging.
Pozsar said that “We are witnessing the birth of Bretton Woods III – a new world (monetary) order centred around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the Eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West.”
Amid an unprecedented spike in global geopolitical risks, the world is becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the architecture that underpins the old world order is giving way to a new configuration of international relations and regional blocs. The countries of the Global South are establishing their own institutions, alliances of regional integration, and payment systems, with them turning into a crucial force in the transforming global economy.
The largest developing markets, primarily the nations of BRICS, are among the leaders here. In March 2022, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Ryabkov said that BRICS will form the foundation of a new world order, saying “I think that the BRICS states, totaling almost half of the world’s population and accounting for a large chunk of the global GDP, will be among the backbones of the new emerging world order.” However, for the BRICS states to become the foundation of a new world order, the bloc has to offer other countries in the world economy new paradigms of development on a global scale. A format that appears most suitable for BRICS+ is an alliance of three pancontinental alliances: the African Union, CELAC (the community of Latin American states), and the SCO/SCO+ in Eurasia.
Breaking the vicious circle
Breaking the current dangerous vicious circle seems to be very, very difficult, nobody is willing to lose the face. The climax is approaching quickly and suddenly, even by casual accident. Next test will be in the coming summer 2022. Will we see a “new Barbarossa offensive” and what will happen there? The final phase will be sooner or later, the nuclear Armageddon or WWIII, waged with nuclear arms.