Ukraine crisis, updated Big Picture
Context of the great power relations, the US – Russia competition
In its recent form, Ukraine crisis began with Maidan color revolution supported by the US and Crimea annexation by Russia in 2014. After that, the close cooperation between Ukraine and the US/NATO continued until February 24, 2022, when Russia initiated its “special military operation” (SMO) in order to “demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine”. Wide-range but short-term diplomatic negotiation phase around the yearend 2021/2022 was not successful and led to nothing but disclosed stone-hard, even arrogant attitudes by each party. The war was the only way out of stalemate.
Many well-known, prominent researchers, politicians and experts have analyzed the processes and chain of events to the current phase of Ukrainian crisis, like John Mearsheimer, Henry Kissinger, Stephen Walt and Scott Ritter as well as tens of think tanks and various research institutes.
I have analyzed this topic in several articles, here the links to some recent ones:
More material on Ukraine crisis can be found in the sections of “Visiting Stars” and “News and articles”, on my website.
Exceptional features of the crisis
From the very beginning in this crisis, there have been two tales of one crisis:
- Western mainstream media (MSM) narrative => “Russia initiated the invasion of Ukraine in February”,
- Russian narrative => “Russia thwarted the coming Ukrainian grand offensive to Donbass (in March) by starting “special military operation on 24 February”;
From the outset, reporting of the war has been proceeded along these two initial narratives.
Some very exceptional events took place in the first 1-3 months of this crisis:
- Freezing and confiscating of the funds abroad of Russian Central Bank, approx. $ 300 billion (largest bank heist in history) => these illegal political measures have accelerated de-dollarization process worldwide
- Private property protection laws have also suspended asabroad-located private property of large number of Russian private persons has been seized in absence of any due legal process
- Large-scale sanctions (by the US and EU) against Russia are now backfiring => Europe, the US and the rest of the world in the form of an energy crisis, food crisis, inflation and overall economic crisis
- Energy crisis => Europe, the US
- Inflation => Europe, the US
- Possible food and agricultural production crisis => worldwide
- Proxy war => Russia versus Ukraine, which supported and supervised by the US, NATO, the EU
At the beginning of this war / special military operation (SMO), there were three absolutely critical, essential military facts, which have not been noticed in Western MSM:
- AFU (armed forces of Ukraine) had built and occupied extensive layered trench/bunker fortifications in all estimated theaters of operation with the help and support of the US and NATO
- Ukraine had a three to one advantage in numbers of troops over the Russian & Donbass forces (450.000 vs 150.000), in the beginning of the crisis
- the US wanted to organize a proxy war with Russia
From the early March on, Russia’s response to those facts has been a methodical destruction of the command centers for each layer of the trench network and overall Ukrainian military infrastructure using artillery, missiles and aerial bombardment. This is a slow process designed to limit casualties on the Russian side and maximize casualties on the Ukrainian side.
Features of military operation
The Russian army strikes targets in Ukraine with rockets, ballistic or cruise missiles of operational-tactical, medium and long range, sea, land and air based. Western “experts” are still waiting for Russians to run out of rockets and missiles but this will never happen – the Russian military industry has already reached such a rate of production that it covered the mass consumption of rockets, missiles and various guided munitions and other ammo since the first days of the SMO. Now their production exceeds the daily consumption. That is, the stocks of these weapons, on the contrary, are growing.
Russia has expended astonishing number of cruise missiles since the start of SMO (up to the end of July), around 2.500, which is already more than the number of Tomahawks the US spent in all of her military campaigns combined in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Russia uses only about ten percent of its military forces in this SMO, recycling troops, utilizing massive, Soviet-era military material storages, without general mobilization. The normal military exercises and drills around the whole country (like Vostok 2022) have been kept as scheduled in the official program as well as the military activity and operations in Syria. The latest weapon novelties have been tested during SMO, just like in Syria operation.
The fact that Ukraine had a three to one advantage in military troops and were embedded in defensive positions should have led to the defeat of the Russians. One of the traditional military doctrines is that an army fighting a foe who is on the defense must have at least a three to one advantage, if they have any hope of prevailing in the fight.
Russia has turned that doctrine on its head. We now have a case study (on-going) of the first time that an inferior force (in terms of numbers) is steadily defeating an entrenched, fortified enemy with three times the numbers.
Process of military events
In summer months (May-June-July-early August), Russia’s Grind Mills, heavy artillery and rocket launchers, were destroying AFU’s military infrastructure with over 6000 rounds per day on the whole frontline range day after day besides missile strikes and air force strikes. AFU was forced on defense mode only; Meanwhile, because of Ukraine and Russia’s key roles in global food production – namely wheat and fertilizers – food prices in the US and Europe have spiked dramatically. growing lack of ammo, fuel, heavy weapons and reserve troops are restricting its maneuvers.
In the beginning of July, Russia achieved the first clear target by taking a full control of Luhansk region and resuming its offence in Donetsk region and in the south.
The Big News of the day, July 17, was that Shoigu took the brakes off and told his commanders in the field that there is a need for speed and bigger and intensified action in the Ukraine. The timing was epic! On July 17, 1942, the Battle of Stalingrad began, one of the largest engagements in history and the most important stage of the Great Patriotic War. More than 3 million soldiers and officers clashed in mortal combat, the battle was the turning point in World War II, where the strategic initiative passed to the Red Army.
At the end of July, Russia’s strike on military facilities in the port of Odessa broke the plans of Kyiv and NATO regarding Black Sea operations. Russian strike destroyed a warehouse of all anti-ship missiles “Harpoon” and a warship of the Ukrainian Navy.
The beginning of August was marked by the resumption of the Russian strong offensive in the northern and central directions on the front lines of the Donetsk People’s Republic. In the north of the Kharkov region, positional battles continue, no significant regional control takings.
On August 4, Russian assault groups entered the eastern part of city Bakhmut. The Ukrainian defense collapsed under heavy fire from Russian artillery. Ukrainian forces also suffered heavy losses after a failed attempt to counterattack Russian positions. Fighting reached the industrial zone of the city of Soledar. In the Donetsk region, Russian and DPR units took control of the town of Peski.
The most active combat zone in Ukraine remains the northern and central fronts of the Donetsk. Despite the billion dollars’ worth military aid from the Kiev’s western allies, the AFU are yet to launch any successful offensive operations.
Russia’s strategy is to deplete the resources of the AFU and to destroy Ukrainian military infrastructure, disable the combat-ready part of the Ukrainian army, after which “things will go faster.” In early July, President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian Armed Forces “have not started anything seriously yet.” So, when will Russia finally start the special operation for real? Obviously late August, when “the depletion” has been done.
Critical points in August
A turning point is coming for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his administration. It is of paramount importance for Kyiv not to let the popular vote, planned by Russia, in the Kherson region happen. If he loses this game, the region will become a Russian territory. Both Zelensky and his administration have underlined the importance of a massive victorious counteroffensive in Kherson in August.
The next critical point / end game to Russia, is to secure the full control of Donetsk region. Nearly 40% of Donetsk region is still in Ukraine’s control. Slavjansk-Kramatorsk-Bahmut frontline seems to be decisive battlefield in Donetsk region.
Russia’s third end game is securing the whole southern coast area, as far to the west as Odessa and Transnistria. There is a growing awareness that Russia wants to consolidate the cities and towns in the south and even more importantly the ports along the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. Such a consolidation would connect Russia by land to Crimea.
Should Russia be able to capture Mykolaiv (Nikolaev) and keep control of the massive nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia, it could prove fatal to Ukraine’s long-term survival as an independent country.
Long-vowed counter-offensive by AFU in the south, Kherson region, is still “in the making”. Russia has moved extra forces to the area and is shelling so hard by heavy artillery and rockets that majority of troop, equipment and material needed for the AFU offensive, have been destroyed day after day. It is quite obvious now that this counteroffensive will never materialize.
Based on numerous military analysts, Ukraine would need three big miracles to make a successful offence operation. There seems to be again a disagreement between the Zelensky regime and the general staff of the AFU. The general staff knows that a counter-offensive against Kherson makes no sense as it would cost many more casualties and is likely to be defeated.
On the contrary, it may turn out that it is Russia who may start a massive offence operation in this region within next couple of weeks.
There was a leaked data from AFU General Staff, published in the social media on 5th August:
- The current AFU troops are only at 43-48% strength, compared with figures in February, the estimated number of well-trained troops was above 400.000 then
- number of troop losses (killed and wounded soldiers) over 190.000 per the end July (only AFU, not including others), average losses up to 1000 – 1500 soldiers daily
- no organized care of the missing and bodies on the ground
- the equipment and ammo transferred by the West is running out, due to usage and destruction by Russia
- western weapons are operated by amateurs, since there are no qualified specialists
- no way to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spares and specialists – everything is sent to Poland
The AFU General Staff has acknowledged that its main reinforced defense line west of Donetsk city has been collapsed, near the heavily fortified village Pisky in Avdiivka region. This may threaten a break in morale of the troops and increasing deserting.
Polish military analysis of current situation in Ukraine
At the end of July, the Foreign Intelligence Agency of the Republic of Poland (AW) has made an analysis of the current situation in Ukraine. Polish report tells that a catastrophic situation has developed in the formations of the AFU, which is losing well over 300 killed servicemen a day and this figure is underestimated by the president’s office in order not to cause panic among civilians and military. Constant strikes by Russian Forces on command posts and training centers of the AFU have led to the death of about 46.000 Ukrainian fighters in the past three months (May-July) and these are the most trained and experienced servicemen.
The report also notes that the officers, who are sent to conduct military operations in the Donbass, are unprepared, with a low professional level. Since May, almost all management functions in the planning and conduct of hostilities have been assumed by foreign advisers from the United States, Great Britain and Canada. Their presence at command posts is kept secret in order to prevent the personnel of NATO military countries from being captured by the Russian Forces.
The report also focuses on the fact that Zelensky’s office has set the task to hold the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk-Toretsk front line at any cost until the end of August this year. The report is also skeptical about Kiev’s capability about the formation of four new units of 30.000 troop in Ukraine. In Warsaw, it is not excluded that the command of the AFU misleads the allies in order to obtain new weapons.
According to the AW, the Ukrainian leadership also expects two Polish brigades to enter the western regions of the country so that they will allow releasing additional combat-ready units and formations of the AFU in August to be sent to the eastern front.
The special services also noted that the weapons delivered to Kiev are not used for their intended purpose. The military personnel of the AFU are unable to maintain complex weapons systems on their own, therefore, foreign instructors are often deployed in artillery positions.
More money, please; destruction goes on
Late July, EU High Representative Josep Borrell announced EU allocates additional 500 million euro for weapons shipment to Ukraine. This brings the EU’s total funding for military aid for Ukraine to 2.5 billion euro. This money is being used as compensation for EU member states that ship their weapons to Ukraine, regardless of whether it is old decommissioned vehicles or new modern orders.
On August 1, the US Department of Defense announced another military aid package for Ukraine valued at up to $550 million. The new package includes artillery ammunition and additional ammunition for HIMARS. In total, the US has already committed approximately $8.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $10 billion.
In turn, the Ukrainian Defense Minister claimed that four more mobile HIMARS launchers have been delivered to Ukraine. In total, Kiev have got 16 launchers from the US. Many Ukrainian crews of western systems are under the direct command of active military personnel of the US Army.
The US announced in early Augustnew massive aid packages for Ukraine, including $4.5 billion in direct budgetary aid and a $1 billion weapons package. The $4.5 billion in budgetary aid is going to the Ukrainian government and is meant to pay for pensions, healthcare costs, and social welfare. The budgetary funds are being directed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be sent in tranches, with the first sum of $3 billion being sent in August through the World Bank. US military assistance to Ukraine has grown to $11.8 billion since 2014.
The $1 billion in military aid is the single-largest arms package the US has pledged to Kyiv since Russia invaded. The package includes ammunition for the HIMARS rocket systems, new Javelin anti-tank missiles and ammunition for other weapons systems the US has provided Ukraine. The aid the US is sending Ukraine is still being pulled from the $40 billion aid package President Biden signed into law back in May. The $40 billion is meant to last through the fiscal year, which ends on September 30 for the federal government, so a new Ukraine aid bill could be drafted by Congress soon.
In addition, on August 9, the US State Department announced its intention to provide $89 million of FY 2022 funding for assistance to the Government of Ukraine in mine clearance on the territory of the country.
Challenges here and there
While Western MSM still pushes delusional narrative on Ukrainian victory (late July), US Military Brass now recognizes the war is lost. The US has supplied Ukraine with more weapons in the last four months than it provided to the Afghan army in ten years and Ukraine has exhausted all those supplies.
US military analysts are briefing the US command that Ukraine is disintegrating. The analysts at the Defense Intelligence Agency can no longer hide the fact that Ukraine is not winning and has no path forward to victory. This growing acknowledgement of Ukraine’s dire situation is likely to generate push back from Austin and Milley to stop useless pouring more US weapons and equipment into the rapidly growing black hole that is Ukraine.
Although Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, had the speech on July 17 where he told his commanders in the field that there is a need for speed and bigger and intensified actions in the Ukraine, it seems that Russian offensive in Ukraine is going as usual, slow. Russian artillery and rocket forces make their own grind milling work besides air forces and missile forces with high-precision strikes but as a whole the advance of Russian troops has not accelerated. Russia simply needs more “boots on the ground”, if they want to forward faster and regain the initiative on all operational theaters.
The Russian Armed Forces are 900,000-strong, but Putin continues to fight the Ukraine war only with professionals and volunteers despite the urgings of some Russian hardliners to deploy the entire Russian Army, conscripts and all. If the purpose is to speed up military operation significantly, there is a shortage of manpower and Putin seems to hesitate to formally declare war and general mobilization, obviously for domestic political reasons. These political considerations leave Russian Forces fighting with less men than the vast size of Ukraine and the military command demand.
Another, somewhat minor problem is American HIMARS (MLRS). AFU is using HIMARS rockets taking out Russian command posts and transport nodes far behind the front lines and taking out ammunition dumps, thereby depriving Russia’s tactical artillery of munitions. However, the rockets as such are only half this problem, the other half is targeting systems. They are using satellite imagery provided by NATO countries, particularly the US and the UK.
While the Kremlin has digital maps of Ukraine, limitations in real-time satellite coverage mean that Russian firepower is forced to rely on air, drone and on-ground reconnaissance instead of live targeting data. This advantage is maximized by the clear summer skies. However, Russia has managed to destroy 6 out of 16 delivered HIMARS units as well as some hundreds of rockets for the system so far.
The US & NATO involvement in Ukraine war
On August 4, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said:
“The war in Ukraine is the most dangerous moment for Europe since World War Two and Russia must not be allowed to win. To prevent Moscow from succeeding, NATO and its member countries may have to continue to support Ukraine with arms and other assistance for a long time to come”.
Describing what Moscow calls a “special military operation” as an attack on the current world order, Stoltenberg said the alliance had to prevent the war from spreading.
“What happens in Ukraine is terrible but it would be much worse if there was a war between Russia and NATO”.
His statements are contradictory, on the other hand NATO must prevent Russia winning the war by supporting massively Ukraine but on the other hand try to avoid a direct conflict with Russia. How to solve this dichotomy?
Reports of the Russian Defense Ministry are telling on daily bases those massive amounts of western military hardware, ammo and other military material, which Russian Forces have been destroying daily. Also, information is given on the number of killed, wounded and left foreign mercenaries by state of origin.
HIMARS, M777 and others
The Russian Defense Ministry has accused frequently the US of being directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine. The statement followed remarks by a Kiev official, who gave details of the attacks with NATO-provided HIMARS. He stated that AFU officers regularly consult with US officials before using the HIMARS to strike targets and that the US has veto over the attacks. The reason Ukraine is currently quite effective at long-range strikes is that they are based upon real-time satellite reconnaissance data, supplied by NATO spy satellites and a fleet of US commercial satellites, that grants Ukrainian forces virtually live coverage of the entire battlefield.
According to Russian reporting, they have destroyed 6 of total 16 delivered HIMARS, which means that highly likely up to 20 US servicemen have been killed in those strikes. When taking into account destroyed 5 Harpoons complexes and about 50 destroyed M777 howitzers, the number of killed American servicemen may amount up to 50. Obviously, killed servicemen have been masqueraded as “foreign mercenaries”. In addition, Russian Forces have also destroyed Norwegian M109 self-propelled howitzers, French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzers and German Gepard anti-aircraft systems with Lancet loitering munitions.
Latest reports from the frontline tells that the remains of a US-made AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-radiation Missile) have been found by Russian forces in Ukraine. AGM-88 is a tactical air-launched anti-radiation missile designed to home in on transmissions coming from air defense radar systems. The maximum launch range of the newer variants of the AGM-88 is said to be up to 150 kilometers, which would imply it had to be launched from within Kiev regime-controlled airspace.
What’s particularly disturbing about this is that no aircraft in the AFU forces’ inventory is known to be capable of deploying this missile. This leaves us with only one logical conclusion – a NATO member state operating an F-15, F-16, F-18, “Typhoon” or another NATO-standard fighter jet capable of deploying the anti-radiation missile launched the AGM-88 at a Russian SAM (surface-to-air missile) system radar. This means a direct attack of NATO fighter jet against a Russian SAM system radar.
There are several speculations that on August 9 the Russian troops were hit by American planes flown by Ukrainian pilots or that American fighter jets simply flew into Ukrainian airspace and carried out a series of strikes. US authorities deny the incident, as they also deny supplying missiles.
However, yesterday Pentagon announced that Washington had sent to Kyiv anti-radar missiles that could be used by Ukrainian aircraft against Russian radars. At a press conference, Deputy Defense Secretary Colin Kahl said that Washington had sent some missiles to Kyiv in the latest shipment, without specifying the type or number of missiles, which turned out to be HARM missiles. Kahl alleged that the missiles could be fired from Ukrainian aircraft. This was the first official confirmation from the US side of the transfer of AGM-88 HARM missiles to Ukraine.
With well-argued reasons can be said that providing military supplies, training the Ukrainian military and sending US citizens fighting together with Ukrainian soldiers, the US and other Kiev’s Western allies are already at war with Russia, de facto.
The warfare is now approaching the ultimate red line. How close to direct open war between Russia and NATO are we right now? How much further can NATO go in assisting and supporting AFU, until the official war declaration?
From information to propaganda
Academic studies, dissident intellectuals and history itself have shown, how quickly our information systems can turn into gigantic propaganda machines as soon as states go to war. Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, mainstream media (MSM), NATO and the EU offer a perfect example of this type of “war communication”.
The veneration and even mythification of Zelensky, which has reached absurd levels, is partly explained by a deliberate demonizing of Russian President Vladimir Putin and by the acting talents of Zelensky, a comedian, who has shrewdly seized the moment to radically rebrand himself as a symbol of resistance, freedom and democracy.
Ukraine is the country and nation, where the corruption is deeply rooted in the basic structure of the country and pro-fascistic characteristics are widely known. It is deeply ironic that before the war, western media were recognizing the reality of these problems but as soon as the war started, these features were magically whitewashed.
At the end of March, after negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey, there was nearly an agreement on a ceasefire and on the end of the war. Joe Biden then tasked Boris Johnson with telling Zelensky to continue the war. The West would otherwise stop paying and support. Zelensky did as he was told and stopped all negotiations with Russia.
An agreement with Russia at that time would have kept the Ukraine mostly as one state with only minor losses in the Donbas. But the decision to continue the destructive war also ended all chances for Ukraine to keep its integrity.
Speculation among Western sources that have good Russian contacts is that Russia will pause after it has secured Donbass and will deliver its conditions for a peace to Ukraine. These are certain to be unacceptable, since the bare minimum ask will be conceding the loss of Donbass and Crimea (and let us not forget neutrality and denazification too). The West of course will flatly reject it but that’s fine by Russia.
The point of this offer securing the first objective of the Special Military Operation is to play positive to China, India, the global South and also to the more cautious and war-averse members of the Russian citizenry.
It was actually the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, who has good relations with Russia and was surely told to transmit this message, who said that Russia will make a peace offer and that the west will likely reject it (July 14):
“I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin finishes business in Sieversk, Bakhmut and Soledar, and then on the second line Sloviansk – Kramatorsk – Avdeevka, his proposal will follow. If they don’t accept it and they don’t intend to, we will go to hell”.
War continues and so do sanctions
So, Russia will continue. Russia may give priority to taking Odessa unless there are logistical considerations that argue against that. The Ukraine military is so close to collapse that Russian forces going to Odessa sooner rather than later is a real possibility. It’s the psychologically most important target for the Russian people and economically more valuable than Kiev. The West would recognize that Russia getting control of what was Ukraine’s entire Black Sea coast as an enormous loss.
What Russia decides to do with or about Ukraine to the west of the Dnieper is event dependent. West of the Dnieper lies Kryvyi Rih (Krivoy Rog) region with the mineral wealth. It has always had a symbiotic relationship with the heavy industry in the Donbas region. It is probably even more valuable than Odessa. Except for the last 30 some years, Kryvyi Rih had been under Russian control since 1775. It is about 100 kilometer north-east of Nikolayev and only 40 km from the current frontline.
The West is likely to continue its suicidal sanctions even when Russia stops the war and offers peace. It is the US pressure on the Europeans that will keep the sanctions going. Europe and the US would keep its citizens cold and hungry this winter just to spite Russia.
Assessing political and economic purposes
Behind the US instigation of a war in Ukraine there are purposes of two kinds, political ones and economic ones. In the political sphere, the target is the depletion and finally a permanent nullifying of Russian great power status.
In the economic sphere, it seems quite clear that the real target of the US instigation of a war in Ukraine is Germany. The threat to US dominance is that China, Russia and Germany are offering better trade and investment opportunities than are available from the United States. This is behind the US drive to block Germany from authorizing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to obtain Russian gas for the coming cold weather.
The only way left for US diplomats to block European purchases is to incite Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest.
As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor. The current German government is more or less under US control.
Now, even the weather and nature are “pro-Russia”, the water level of Rhine River is so exceptionally low that it stops all coal transports, when they are desperately needed for winter heating.
Many political government changes will be needed before the sanction nonsense can be stopped. A “winter of discontent” will probably do that. Looking at the sanction disaster the west has caused for itself, may explain why Russia has no inventive to change its current way regarding Ukraine crisis.
When Russia started their “special military operation” in Ukraine, they could never have dreamed how self-destructive the West would be. The West has not only shot itself in the foot with its economic sanctions but also into its lungs, as Hungary’s Viktor Orban says. Who in Moscow could have imagined that the West would shovel its entire ammunition and weapons stockpiles into the Ukrainian black hole in the expectation that, if they can get the latest western weapons, they’ll be in Moscow by Christmas.
Why would Moscow want this to end any time soon? Time is working for them and the enemy is making lots of mistakes. Don’t interrupt.
A Polish political scientist Hanna Kramer in her recent article alleges that the main clash between Washington and Moscow will take place on the territory of Poland. “It’s no secret that the ruling Law and Justice party has been seeking for Poland the status of one of the world leaders for years. The White House skillfully took advantage of this desire.
The goal is simple: to create a hot spot in Europe and once again flex their muscles in front of Russia”. The scientist believes that the Ukrainian conflict is the first US project against Russia, next one is Poland. “The main battle between Washington and Moscow will unfold in Poland, which is currently in the way of the Ukrainians! Citizens of Poland and Ukraine are cannon fodder for the Americans!” the scientist notes.
If tensions with China over Taiwan spirals out of control, it may come with the cost of US support for Ukraine against Russia, officials in the EU reportedly fear. A switch of Washington’s hostile attention from Moscow to Beijing would be the “worst-case scenario” for European NATO members. The reason for Pelosi’s adventurism with the “visit” to Taiwan is like the oldest trick in the playbook, focus to some new outside affair, if current problems are getting too bad (US economic catastrophe and the lost war in Ukraine).
German journalist Wolfram Weimar said in the German TV interview in June that “West is lying about Ukraine War. I am afraid we now have to face an uncomfortable truth and that is that Russia has won this war.” He also stated how European leaders are getting humiliated on the world stage as they continue to prosecute the war in Ukraine against Russia that can no longer be won.
The West’s sanctions against Russia have backfired spectacularly. The Russian ruble is now at a 5-year high against the US dollar and European nations have been forced to cut back on increasingly expensive oil and natural gas that was previously supplied by Russia. As Weimer noted, China, India, and other non-Western countries have ramped up commerce with Russia since the sanctions came into effect. The majority of Americans don’t support US intervention in the Ukraine war and are much more worried about poor government leadership, soaring inflation and high gas prices.
Meanwhile, because of Ukraine and Russia’s key roles in global food production – namely wheat and fertilizers – food prices in the US and Europe have spiked dramatically. When the need for oil and gas will grow in Europe by coming autumn and winter, the Europeans may not be able to keep solidarity with the US on Ukraine’s future. Should the US continue to back Ukraine and support Zelensky’s negative attitude to negotiations, at least some of the Europeans may split from the US and lift sanctions on Russia.
In practice, this means the big European players such as France, Italy and Germany would break the EU/NATO consensus. Whether Britain or Poland, the other important players, keep solidarity with Ukraine is an open question, if these events were to unfold.
There isn’t any doubt that most European countries are facing challenging economic conditions and even unrest, if heating fuel and power are cut or restricted severely in the winter season. The chance that major industries will shut down or parole their workers, would be particularly damaging.
European munition production, military-industrial capability
When the G-7 leaders met in Germany in June, there was so hilarious mood, more war with Russia.Without actually saying exactly so, that was the main takeaway from the meeting. Millions of Europeans citizens facing skyrocketing energy bills may wonder, where all this money and energy is going to come from to fund all of this nonsense.
When examining the real military production capacities in European NATO-countries, based on recent RUSI report, the factual abyss between NATO-countries annual munition production and weekly consumption quantities by AFU is staggeringly vast. But taking in consideration that Russian Armed Forces use just daily more ammo than AFU in a week, the range is nearly incomprehensible.
From the outset, Russia was absolutely engaged in a war of attrition against the West, hoping NATO would take the bait of a ground war in Ukraine. Warmongers in the West controlling the West thinking and media thought that they can turn Ukraine into a quagmire for Putin but what if Putin thinks he can turn Ukraine into a quagmire for them?
Now, with sanctions further hollowing out the US’s and Europe’s economies and the “leadership” of the buffoons that just met in Germany in June, Russia is in the driver’s seat to grind out a victory in Ukraine and leave the West depleted of weapons, if the current situation goes on without a course correction. NATO Europe is the one without the capacity to fight, if the conflict widens. Storages already shoveled into Ukrainian black hole and lack of production capacity.
The US under Biden is ramping up military spending, presumably to increase ammunition production levels but it may not be so. The production system is under massive stress thanks to the supply chain breakdowns created by COVID-19. While sanctions may have limited Russia’s ability to procure or maintain a large arsenal of its highest technology tanks and/or airplanes, it may not be relevant here, becausethis is not a war of hi-tech. It is a WWI style artillery war, which the West is not prepared to fight.
So, the overall military picture of the West is with weak supply chains, limited ability to ramp up production and a military that hasn’t trained for sustained warfare on a mass scale.
This means that Biden’s expansion of the defense budget to $813 billion this year may not even be what he thinks it means. Instead of being a buildup to fight a wider war, this may seriously be just the last bet before the whole system comes crashing down.
The real stress test is happening now. Ukraine is getting crushed under the weight of Russia’s ability to sustain an inhuman level of artillery bombardment. The RUSI article only touches on the potential for Russia to continue its production of the needed munitions but one gets the idea that these things are cheap and fully domestically sourced. Russia has a massive capability and capacity to produce nearly limitless amounts of munitions.
It takes a staggering amount of energy to fight a sustained war. The West is at the mercy of Russia to get that energy. The next phase of this war is now the complete divorce of Europe from the Russian energy complex at prices that can’t keep Europe from sinking into depression if not outright depravity. The financial war of attrition against the West is the reality of the day.Ultimately without energy or the money to procure it, there is no real conventional war. Industrial warfare having returned has already determined the outcome in Ukraine.
This is just part of the reason, why Henry Kissinger urged at this year’s Davos meeting to open up talks and begin the negotiations. It seems at this point his admonishments have fallen on deaf ears. Given the average age of European buffoons making these decisions, this is, of course, not surprising.
Conclusions of the crisis, outcome in Europe
This chapter will be published later in the early autumn.