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Ukraine Is Becoming a Dangerous Proxy War Between Russia and the West

Russia
U.S. Army Soldiers, assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, maneuver their M1A2 Abrams tank to avoid indirect fire during training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Oct. 7, 2016.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was intended to be a blitzkrieg – a quick in/out decapitation of Ukraine’s political elite. A Russia-friendly government would be installed. Ukrainians, skeptical and disenchanted with their corrupt government, would accept this swift change. Russia could then quickly remove its forces. The conflict would indeed be a ‘special military operation,’ not a war. The Russian army would be gone before the West had time to respond. The entire thing would be a fait accompli, like the snatching of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin grossly underestimated the legitimacy of the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine’s sense of national identity. Putin’s quick move on Kyiv bogged down into a stalemate. After six weeks, the Russians gave up on that northern axis of attack. They are now focusing on taking just the Donbas eastern district of Ukraine. Even this more limited incursion will struggle though. The reason is that Putin is now fighting almost the entire West, not just Ukraine.

The War is Now a Proxy War

Almost immediately, Zelensky began asking for Western assistance, effectively making the conflict into a proxy war between the West and Russia. Indeed, Zelensky marketed the Ukrainian war effort in those terms explicitly. He spoke of Ukraine as the forward edge of Europe, defending it against wider Russian aggression. Ukraine may not be in NATO or the European Union, but it became increasingly clear that it was acting as a bulwark.

In the run-up to the war, Putin gave speeches decrying the entire post-Cold War settlement in Europe. He objected not just to Ukrainian independence, but the expansion of NATO, Eastern Europe’s escape from Russia’s sphere of influence, and the development of Western-tilting democracies all around Russia. He pretty clearly wants some version of the USSR or the Russian Empire back. There is widespread suspicion that if Putin already controlled Ukraine, he would now be pressuring the Baltic states or Poland instead.

In this, Zelensky is probably right. Putin’s revisionism is, ideally, not just limited to Ukraine. He wants a different European security order – one with a much larger, semi-imperial role for Russia. Alas, no one besides Moscow wants that, so the West has swung dramatically behind Ukraine. The war is indeed a proxy war.

Putin needed to win quickly to avoid this outcome. He did not. The Western aid pipeline is now expanding to include heavy weapons which could even help Ukraine take back territory if it can stop the current Donbas offensive. Effectively Russia is now battling a Ukrainian army kitted with Western military hardware. If this keeps up, Ukraine will have one of the best equipped and battle-hardened militaries on the planet.

Russia can Not Win a Long-Term, or Even Medium-Term, Proxy War with the West 

This outcome is a disaster for Putin. Russia has the current edge in numbers and mass, but Ukraine has superior morale and soon equipment. As the flow-in of Western weapons picks up, the scales will equalize and then turn against Russia.

Russia also does not have the economic capacity, specifically the defense industrial base, to compete against (almost) the entire West’s defense industrial capacity. Russian GDP is less than two trillion dollars. American and EU GDPs exceed forty trillion. Both produce equipment as good as or better than Russian equipment.

Worse, Russia’s economy will suffer a sharp contraction due to the sanctions against it because of the war. Estimates are floating around of a five to ten percent contraction just this year. That, plus the expense of what has metastasized into a major war for which the Russian population was not prepared, will push Russia into recession, if not depression soon.

Putin spent much Russia’s defense modernization over the last decade insulating its defense economy from the world economy. That is, Russia’s defense industrial bases is quite autarkic and should be able to produce the necessary weapons for awhile yet. But if the war bogs down into a stalemate – if the current Donbas offensive does not generate a war-winning breakthrough – then Russian defense manufacturers will fall into a medium-term arms race with Western producers. They are unlikely to outrun Western defense production for long given the stark asymmetry in size, plus the pain of sanctions.

As many have observed, if Ukraine can just hang on for another few months, Russia probably cannot win the war, even pyrrhically.

The Afghan Model

We have a model for this – Russia’s last disastrous proxy war with the wider world. In 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan. As in the current Ukraine conflict, the defenders initially suffered punishing losses and the Soviets made gains. But the nationalist-Islamist resistance in Afghanistan hung on. And the external world swung behind those rebels.

An American-sponsored pipeline smuggled weapons through adjoining Muslim lands into Afghanistan. The tenacious, high-morale rebels there, much like Ukraine’s army today, used those weapons to prevent further Soviet gains. The war became one of attrition. In time, the Soviets tired and withdrew. Similarly, even if the Russians are able to win a short-term victory in the Donbas in the coming months, they will likely face an insurgency in those conquered areas, and the remainder of Ukraine will pressure those conquests, armed continuously by the West.

Russia’s options are limited. It cannot militarily penetrate western Ukraine to cut off the flow of supplies. The border between Ukraine and NATO is too long to block the in-flow with missile strikes either. It also cannot strike inside NATO to inhibit weapons collection. That risks escalation with NATO itself. Similarly, a Russian escalatory use of a nuclear or chemical weapon in Ukraine risks NATO involvement.

Russia’s best chance is to win a limited victory quickly – before all the political and logistical kinks in the NATO supply effort are worked out – and seek a negotiated peace. If not, Russia will be trapped in a full-fledged proxy war with a vastly wealthier, more productive opponent supplying a tough, determined local client. It cannot win that fight.

Dr. Robert E. Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly; website) is a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at Pusan National University. Dr. Kelly is now a 1945 Contributing Editor as well. 

Written By

Dr. Robert E. Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly; website) is a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at Pusan National University. Dr. Kelly is now a 1945 Contributing Editor as well. 

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Commentar

    April 24, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Very true, but unfortunately, the 80-year-old democratic party diaper wearers just can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Wait till the forest swallows them and then they end up becoming spirits of the forest. Or straight to the lake of fire.

  2. yeah yeah yeah

    April 24, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Hmm, about this zelensliyyy guy. His antics, conduct, mannerism give outright impression he’s a splitting image of recep tayyip erdogan.

    Who’s rte. He’s the guy who’s been running with the hare and hunting with the hounds in syria. Since 2011.Google all stories of rte in syria. Will reveal he’s a very very great great man this side of heaven. Or hell. Depending on your fancies.

  3. Bob

    April 24, 2022 at 9:52 am

    On the surface, your observations are sound and well though out. However, I’m convinced that Putin had been planning on sanctions for his invasion for several years and was well prepared. He knows that these preparations are going to sustain him forever, but he is well prepared for a reasonably long conflict. I believe he would have loved for a quick victory and replacement of the Kiev government, but was prepared if that didn’t happen. His ultimate goal, as you have already mentioned, is restoration of the old Soviet Union. As much as I don’t want it to be true, without Western intervention, at least air support, I don’t think that Ukraine can win. And, of course, we all are all aware of what that can mean.

    • I. Martin

      April 25, 2022 at 10:31 am

      I think the author’s characterization of the situation on the ground, as well as the Russian economy, is pretty accurate. The West was slow getting involved, but now the momentum is picking up. Public sentiment is actually pushing the politicians. The Russians wouldn’t know the power of something like that–when your people know the truth, AND they support you! The true power of democracy.

      • JP

        May 25, 2022 at 8:00 am

        You had me until “when your people know the truth”

  4. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 10:05 am

    So who is losing? Obviously not Russia.

    American Colonel Martin spoke about Biden’s failure in Ukraine.

    US President Joe Biden has failed in his policy towards Ukraine. This opinion was expressed in a column on The Washington Post website by retired American Colonel Wes Martin.

    The head of the White House, as noted in the material, tried to prevent the Ukrainian conflict by diplomatic measures – and could not. The author referred to the statement of the former acting. CIA Director Michael Morell, who expressed the opinion that Biden’s attacks on Russian leader Vladimir Putin only “rallied the beleaguered Russian elite.” “Not a single citizen of Russia will put up with the fact that the main enemy of his state inspires him what kind of power in his country can be and what is not,” Martin quoted Morell as saying.

    “Proving once again that he is nowhere near Reagan, Biden publicly called Putin a ‘butcher’ and a ‘war criminal.’ through Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin,” the author of the material noted.
    Ukraine and Afghanistan are far from the only reasons why Biden’s ratings have slipped to an all-time low of 42 percent. People, Martin notes, are unimpressed by his foreign policy experience. Do not add popularity and record inflation of 8.5 percent and a sharp rise in energy prices – the harbingers of a recession.

    At the end of March, NBC News published the results of a poll, according to which 53 percent of Americans believe that the country will begin a long-term recession, which will lead to the loss of American leadership in the world. When answering the question about Biden’s ability to correctly respond to the situation around Ukraine, only 12 percent of respondents expressed complete confidence in the actions of the head of administration.

    CNN, in turn, reported that the confidence rating of US President Joe Biden has reached a record low. According to a generalized analysis of polls published by four organizations last week, the level of confidence in the US president is about 41%, and according to one of them – only 33%. This is a record low compared to all of Biden’s predecessors in the same period of the presidential term.

    • I. Martin

      April 25, 2022 at 10:37 am

      I am no Biden fan. He is slow, but he is slowly inching towards the right position-with a lot of public pushing! The Russians are such a mess that Biden’s weakness is something we can afford, but Russia cannot. This conflict is actually uniting the American Public and if Biden plays his cards right, he may gain some political advantage. Not saying he will, he is slow, but he might.

      • Retired Gravel Tech

        April 25, 2022 at 12:18 pm

        Let’s try rephrasing this: “Biden’s mad dash towards a worldwide debacle and disaster, as well as at home, has slowed very slightly”

        Waiting for signs of some widespread uniting of the American public to start happening.

  5. Abraham Lincoln

    April 24, 2022 at 11:38 am

    Alex, your main problem is that you think Putin needlessly killing thousands of women and children is justifiable. You need help.

  6. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Tens of thousands of killed Bandera Nazis evokes the same feelings as the destruction of hundreds of thousands of SS soldiers. Glory to the Ukrainians of Donbass! Their gratitude to Russia knows no bounds.

  7. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    See? This is what happens when I leave even a single thread unnatended. Alex running around unattended, hurting himself in his confusion.

    Find it hilarious that, for some reason, this is the dem’s problem. Surely, if the Republicans were in charge, this war would never have happened, right?

    The sheer hubris of Americans/NATO, thinking they can do anything about this conflict, other than help out Ukraine. We are on the sidelines guys. We may yet enter center-stage (through Russia doing somerthing stupid) but these shallow argumetns that if only we changed the political parties of the US things would be different, are deluded.

    Putin started this, and Ukraine will finish it. Simple as. Focus on the bigger picture rather than the internal squabbles that Putin himself has helped stoke. The only ones losing sight of the forest from the trees is the West.

    @Alex – deny, deflect, obfuscate. Seriously, that’s you in a book.

    Don’t look at Putin! Look at Biden! Don’t look at what we’re doing in Ukraine, look at your country! Recession, CNN, political division, look elsewhere, but please, don’t look at what is happening in Russia! Internet Research Agency script in a nutshell.

    Also, poor you man, they are making you work on Orthodox Easter? The night money Sveta brings not enough to keep you guys afloat anymore? Let me know if you need any donations. I’m sure I have a few cents lying around that will be worth a fortune in roubles!

    • I. Martin

      April 25, 2022 at 10:48 am

      I don’t understand folks who are that partisan that they can’t admit simple things, like Trump would’ve handled things differently from Biden and quite possibly this wouldn’t have happened. Trump would’ve kept us pumping oil and ensured that oil prices remained under control. That’s not good from the green POV, but clearly it is very practical and currently necessary. Trump understood the importance of our Saudi allies and never would find himself in the position where they refuse to take his calls. Trump was not a hawk, but he wouldn’t have taken options off the table. He would’ve negotiated from a much stronger position. He would’ve been much more willing to take unilateral action than Biden, which might not have forced NATO members to step up or allowed them to be an impediment. On this front, Biden has done better by default, NATO is stronger as a result of seeking consensus. However, it has cost many Ukrainian lives and material destruction. NATO might’ve been drawn together in spite of Trump. The notion that he would’ve done nothing is absurd!

      • Lance Benson

        April 25, 2022 at 9:38 pm

        “Trump. The notion that he would’ve done nothing is absurd!”

        That’s right, and according to Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, “Putin held off under Trump because he believed that a second Trump administration would withdraw from NATO”. That’s what Trump would have done.

        Then we’d have seen Bucha throughout Ukraine (or rather, we wouldn’t have seen it because no independent reporting would have been allowed), and Trump would have been admiring Putin’s savvy genius.

  8. Iris Noir

    April 24, 2022 at 5:12 pm

  9. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Oh nice, a conspiracy theorist website. Could the plot thicken any further?

  10. NATOFucker

    April 24, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    Your are blind my friend

  11. Vladolph Putler

    April 24, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    This isn’t a Republicrat issue. To cast it as such is a disservice to the gravity of the situation, and is divisive in an unproductive way.

    I’m sure the “Alexes” would like such squabbles if they were sophisticated enough to understand the complexities though.

    • CK

      April 25, 2022 at 7:35 am

      Exactly. And you can see it working. You see a lot of American Alexes on this site, self-brainwashed and falling for the same ruses. Who cars about Ukraine, when you should focus on hunter-biden laptop, the dems, BLM, mexicans, critical race theory, etc.

      All noise and bullshit, and so sad to see Americans and others falling into this obvious pit.

  12. NylaSim

    April 24, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    Yes, it’s just an unplanned theory. So let me try to respond to your emphasis on short- and long-term wars.The first phase of planning A was over, so by that time Russian troops had to break through enemy defenses and go as deep as possible. As far as we know, some tanks had already reached the outskirts of Kiev. In this A plan, Russia has three main objectives: first, to divide the enemy into helpless parts, secondly, if it does not stand for a long time, it can easily destroy the enemy base, and thirdly, create a giant wave of The number of refugees entering Europe has become a crisis. Yes, for the first round, the West spent Javilin 80 times more than needed, and anti-aircraft weapons also cost more than the same demand. The question is, is the West ready to stockpile these weapons in advance? This is not to mention the economic crisis ….

  13. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 1:35 am

    US Congressman Darrell Issa predicted the imminent collapse of the Ukrainian government in connection with the current situation in the country.

    “Fortunately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is not present at our secret briefings, where it has been repeatedly said that he has no chance,” he said.

    The congressman also added that he considers the US sanctions against Russia “unreasonable”.

    Zelensky said that he had agreed with US President Joe Biden on further support for Ukraine’s defense capability and new sanctions against the Russian Federation.

    Biden said more than 12,000 US troops have been sent to Russia’s borders. He also noted that the United States will respond to any step of the Russian Federation towards NATO, even if it leads to a world war.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during a telephone conversation with UN Secretary General António Guterres, noted that the situation in Ukraine was aggravated by Washington and Western countries. According to the head of the defense department, instead of “forcing the Kyiv regime to stop the genocide against the population of the southeast of their country, they began to pump weapons and ammunition into Ukraine,” thus preparing it to resolve the conflict by force.

    Western countries, including the United States, began to impose sanctions in response to the Russian-led operation to protect the Donbass, which began on February 24. The situation in the region escalated in mid-February due to shelling by the Ukrainian military. The authorities of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of residents to the Russian Federation, and also turned to Moscow for help. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the DPR and LPR and promised to support the republics.

    Since 2014, Kyiv has been conducting an operation against the inhabitants of Donbass, who refused to recognize the new government in Ukraine. For 8 years in a row, Kyiv tortured and killed civilians in Donbass.

    • h

      April 25, 2022 at 1:56 am

      Alex,

      we have family members who remember the Red army heading towards Berlin. Russian soldiers were washing potatoes in a toilet because they had never seen a flushing toilet before and thought it was a wash basin.

      Earlier this month we heard of Russian soldiers, while north of Kiev during their failed advance, who had never seen modern toilets.

      What sort of kleptocratic failed state that is unable to provide basic sanitation to its population over a period of eighty years thinks it has anything of value to offer progressive, forward thinking peoples?

    • Frédéric

      April 25, 2022 at 1:59 am

      Poor Alex, I pity you for being forced into a criminal regime that is rejected by the people of the satellite states of Belarus and Transnistria.

      Glory to the courageous Belarusian railwaymen who sabotaged the Russian convoys, and to the courageous Transnistrian civil servants who put a page in support of Ukraine on their government’s official website.

      Are you going to call them Nazis too?

      The fascists are in Moscow. Their Wagner mercenaries desecrate corpses in Mali in an attempt to smear France, but they have been caught red-handed and their lies exposed to the face of the world.

  14. Mad Looney

    April 25, 2022 at 1:35 am

    It’s a completely wrong idea. He doesn’t know anything about comedy. He is responsible for all Ukrainian deaths.

  15. MHJ

    April 25, 2022 at 2:44 am

    Can the Moderator please “liberate” ALEX?

    • CK

      April 25, 2022 at 7:36 am

      I second this.

  16. Him

    April 25, 2022 at 7:35 am

    Alex’s mind has been so shaped by Communist-Soviet-Putin ideology that he cannot see the evil in what he says.

    Alex is just repeating what the Kremlin says.

    Alex has not come to the point where the lightbulb goes off, where he suddenly realises the evil in what he shared from the Kremlin.

    Here’s an example:

    “Shoigu [said to] UN Secretary General .. the situation in Ukraine was aggravated by [the West]. … instead of “forcing the Kyiv regime to stop the genocide … they began to pump weapons .. thus preparing it to resolve the conflict by force.”

    Alex cannot see the evil in what he wrote.

    Analogy: If I’m walking along a street, and I see a Russian man raping a Ukrainian woman, I can do two things: (1) tell the Ukrainian woman to stop resisting the rape so it will be over quicker, or (2) I can help the woman resist her Russian attacker.

    Alex, if this happened to you, you’d tell the woman to stop resisting.

    Our Komrade Alex is saying we should just back off, so that Russia’s attack on Ukraine will be over sooner.

    To a person bred under a Totalitarian regime, that warped thinking makes entire sense to Alex.

    But to people bred in free countries, what Alex said is cruel and evil.

    Alex, because you’ve never been bred under freedom, the mindset of slavery makes entire sense to you. There is no way to explain to you how people from a different culture are repulsed by the evil of your thinking. Because all your Russian friends think the same way, you assume that the way you think is normal. It’s the difference between an eagle born in a cage, versus an eagle who knows the joy of flying free. The difference in the way the slave thinks.

    The proof is, you repeated what the Kremlin said, but you cannot see the evil in what you wrote. I feel sorry for you.

    Historically, you know that Nazi Germany and Hitler were evil, and Putin’s Russia is doing the same. You, like the German people of the 1930’s and 40’s are the same, supporting their nationalistic leader without question.

    • CK

      April 25, 2022 at 7:38 am

      It’s sad, isn’t it? No amount of discussion or debate will change his mind, it’s like talking to a conspiracy theorist. Like Putin, they just double down harder on their delusion. It can’t possibly be me who’s wrong, no no, everyone else is a bandera Nazi!

    • from Russia with love

      April 26, 2022 at 7:20 am

      “Analogy: If I’m walking along a street, and I see a Russian man raping a Ukrainian woman, I can do two things: (1) tell the Ukrainian woman to stop resisting the rape so it will be over quicker, or (2) I can help the woman resist her Russian attacker.”
      interesting analogy. tell me, what do you say when you see how an American and a European rape a Ukrainian woman? “Hey guys, wait! I’m with you!”?
      you are apparently already trying not to remember that it all started in 2014 with a bloody coup d’état organized by the United States and supported by European countries.

      you write so much about love for Ukrainians… can you tell a Ukrainian from a Russian?

  17. CK

    April 25, 2022 at 7:39 am

    @Alex – Well, if a politician made a prediction, then who are we to argue with that? God knows none of them have ever been wrong, about anything, ever… like taking Kyiv in three days 😀

    Tell me Alex, is this like BDSM for you? Do you enjoy pain and humiliation on a daily basis? Is there even any shred of dignity left in there when you return to your hovel and look your loved ones in the eye?

    When you were little, is this really what you dreamed of? Working from a shed, typing nonsense into computers for a pittance?

    I almost pity you. Almost.

  18. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 10:18 am

    There is the Donetsk People’s Republic. There is the Luhansk People’s Republic. Kherson applied to Russia for a referendum to establish the Kherson People’s Republic. God bless the Ukrainians of Donbass!

    • CK

      April 25, 2022 at 10:51 am

      Yes Alex, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania also re-applied to join the Russian Federation. In this reality, Putin has conquered his hemorrhoids, and you and Sveta live happily ever after.

      It’s nice to sit back and daydream, isn’t it? 🙂

  19. I. Martin

    April 25, 2022 at 10:26 am

    Robert, you’re a little late to the party. This has been a proxy war since we sent the first javelins and stingers. What’s dangerous is the failure to acknowledge it from the get go. The only reason things have gone this well is Russian incompetence and dysfunction. Everyone was caught off guard by Ukrainian tenacity! Meanwhile, we have relied too much on it. The West was slow to get it’s act together. As for the rest of your article, ok, what of it? For all Biden’s faults, Putin chose this, and he deserves no quarter, so whatever Biden is doing, is likely not enough. There is no downside that I can see to Putin’s inevitable and just, humiliation.

    • CK

      April 25, 2022 at 10:51 am

      Exactly. It doesn’t really matter who is sitting on the white house.

  20. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 11:03 am

    The largest flagpole over Kherson with the banner of victory is installed. German independent journalists showed the joy of the townspeople and their embrace with their brothers Ukrainians and Russians. This is amazing! God bless the Ukrainians of Donbass!

    Bandera Nazis do not stop going to hell. At the Azov factory, they began to eat each other. A good death for bastards. Glory to the Ukrainians of Donbass!

  21. Retired Gravel Tech

    April 25, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Generally a fairly good analysis, but a few points (because nuance and context is important):

    “We have a model for this – Russia’s last disastrous proxy war with the wider world. In 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan.”

    Because facts are important, Russia did not invade Afghanistan, just as we did not invade Afghanistan.

    The Marxists who seized power and the government in a coup asked Russia to come to their aid in 1979. The Afghan government was asking the UN, NATO, etc to come to their aid for years before 9/11. Amazingly, after 9/11, we were happy to come to their aid.

    As far as when this proxy war with Russia started – Putin started it with his seizure of Crimea eight years ago: calculating that the Western nations who signed the agreement to defend Ukraine from aggression if they would only surrender the nukes that could threaten Russia with MAD would renege on that agreement.

    His proxy war to test the West’s resolve showed that America, Great Britain, etc would sacrifice allies (Ukraine/Finland/Norway all fought with America in Afghanistan after 9/11) because our will did not match his.

  22. Roger J. Buffington

    April 25, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    I disagree with this author’s conclusion. Europe is not the same as Cuba and the Western Hemisphere and frankly, Russia is not a global superpower. Russia is a primitive, weak country with nuclear weapons of dubious functionality. Economically it is a pygmy. Without oil and gas, Russia would be Chad.
    The author is quite right that pretty much no country in Europe can be secure against Russian aggression unless that country is a member of NATO. Even far-off Spain has joined NATO and Finland and Sweden have woken up, smelled the coffee and are clamoring to join. The Ukrainian people have as much right to live in peace as do the people of Finland or Sweden. NATO should admit Ukraine as a NATO member as punishment to Russia for invading a peaceful, sovereign country and as a lesson against future wrongful acts by Russia. Despite Russia’s habitual lies, Ukraine had no prospects of joining NATO until Russia committed its crimes against humanity. There is nothing special about Russia and it has no right to dictate the actions of others.

  23. Jacksonian Libertarian

    April 25, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    I don’t see how Russia’s throwing 40K more troops and equipment into the invasion will accomplish anything. With the Rout in the North, all those Ukrainian troops that were defending there, will simply reinforce the East and the South.

    I also think the West’s shipping of old school combined arms armor and artillery to Ukraine is a bad move strategically. Supplying these dinosaurs becomes a logistical nightmare for Ukraine, sucking up fuel, spare parts, maintenance hours, and their dumb weapons can fire tons of ammo and not hit anything worthy.

    It’s possible that 1st world inventories of one shot-one kill missiles has declined enough to cause concern, and getting rid of inventories of armor and artillery that’s been superseded by those missiles is politically smart, while being strategically damaging to Ukraine.

    Armored forces are unnecessary for Ukraine to go on the offense. In fact, fast moving missilemen attacking the Russian rear, destroying supplies and cutting supply lines, is the war winning offensive move. Ukrainian attacks like the ones in Belgorod and Bryansk that destroy Russian fuel dumps, pipelines, and refineries, do far more damage to the Russians than killing 100 tanks.

  24. Iris Noir

    April 25, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    And is anyone interested, as we see it in Europe, in the beautiful city of Prague? We know history a little differently than it makes your mind. At a time when the King of Iron and Gold ruled almost the entire known civilized world of 1247-1278, what was happening on your sand. Foxes and bears? We live in Europe, the cradle of culture, and we must also deal with the Eastern Power. If the United States did not push the snout all over the world and did not want to teach everyone democracy, it would be peace of mind.
    You’re all laughing at you here, but people are dying, mainly because it’s far from you

    When Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky recently said that “the war could continue for another 10 years”, the arms industry in the United States and Europe jumped with joy.

    The United States and its NATO servants have already brought billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine. Because the Russian military is destroying the ammunition it is delivering as fast as it is coming – the destruction is accelerating every week, because Russia is now destroying the warehouse with guided missiles – Zelensky is all the more urging to send more and more weapons. And the West is in a hurry to comply, as evidenced by the current visit of the US Secretary of War to Kiev.
    Employees and people depend on regular earnings.
    The best taxpayers and their families across the United States and Europe are suffering from record economic hardship and dramatically rising living costs.
    And our governments are throwing billions of dollars and euros at the corrupt Kiev regime, whose army is infested with Nazi death squads. He has been murdered on Donbas for eight years. You all bothered Democrats didn’t mind!

    • CK

      April 26, 2022 at 7:07 am

      lol… you want Ukrainian suffering to stop? Stop invading Ukraine. There, solved it for you.

      Go back to your troll shed, slave.

      • Iris Noir

        April 26, 2022 at 8:23 am

        Why are you swearing at me? I’m not the one to stop anything. I’m not Russian and I don’t live in Russia either. Why can’t you be sensible when you disagree with me? You’re just swearing! You’re a troll.
        I live in the EU, sanctions are destroying our industry, our economy, our agriculture.
        There would be no war if the West did not entice poor Ukrainians to give them everything for free.
        EU and NATO accession. It was a lie. Nobody wants Ukraine here. It’s a fallen state.
        What Zelenský did before. Why the citizens of Ukraine do not even have basic health care.
        The President of Ukraine did not work for his people. He had just armed himself against a neighbor. How many Ukrainians, women and children have you been granted asylum? We already have 500,000 people here. Children do not have vaccinations against infant diseases. What country is Ukraine? Just shame and fascist figures and poor and sick children. People without jobs, without housing and on the other hand a fabulously rich mafia in expensive cars.
        I am not a troll, I am a woman from the capital and I follow the processes that lead us to World War III. It is the fault of NATO’s expansion. Putin’s war is a consequence. In the German press, they are already writing out of NATO and saving peace. Take a look at the events and history of Europe and you will find that it is not black and white.

  25. Stefan Stackhouse

    April 25, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Afghanistan has always been the space where “The Great Game” was played out. The Soviet adventure there was just one more round. I suspect that they fully realized that it was only ever an opportunistic venture, one that could be and was terminated when opportunity vanished.

    Putin, and many other Russians, including all of those within his inner circle, see Ukraine as being very different. Ukraine is not a game; Ukraine is (in their view) existential.

    An opportunistic venture gone sour is not worth the risks that come with crossing the nuclear threshold. An existential battle is a different story. The Russian nuclear doctrine apparently (from what I can gather) anticipates the use of nuclear weapons in a dire situation that constitutes an existential threat. Given the mindset of Putin and his cronies, it is not difficult to imagine things turning decisively against the Russians in Ukraine, and then – with their backs against the wall – they decide to escalate and cross the nuclear threshold. It can happen, and there is a very real danger that it will happen.

  26. Alex

    April 26, 2022 at 1:29 am

    Without a doubt, Russia is a Great Power. If you look at the fact that Russia occupies the first place in production in many industries, then only a stoned drug addict will squeal that Russia is a gas station. Which is understandable – when a Bandera Nazi lives in the most impoverished country of Eurasia, Ukraine, then he, in drug delirium from a lack of food, can still be told on TV.

    The West failed to turn much of the world against Russia after the military operation in Ukraine began, columnist Howard French wrote in an article for Foreign Policy magazine.
    According to him, many states did not support sanctions against Moscow, including such large countries as India and China.

    “In fact, when counting the population of these countries, it becomes clear that the states representing the majority of humanity have not taken a position in this conflict, seeing in it the familiar echoes of the former rivalry between East and West,” said French.
    According to the observer, the international political system that took shape at the beginning of the twentieth century from the very beginning gave the countries of the “third world” the status of second-class states. As an example, he cited the colonization of Africa by European countries.

    “It was the work of the enslaved millions of people who grew sugar and cotton in huge quantities, cleared the land and did all other unpaid work that made the American colonies profitable for Europe, and the so-called “Old World” new and rich,” the author emphasized.

    French urged not to ignore the heightened sense of justice among the former colonized peoples.

  27. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 7:09 am

    Yes, your 1st place in the industries of delusion, propaganda, alcohol are now only superseded by those of national humiliation and self-flagellation and body bags and scrap.

    I’m not even sure your new Chinese masters will have much use for you after this war is over.

  28. Alex

    April 26, 2022 at 7:27 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

  29. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 9:57 am

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

  30. from Russia with love

    April 27, 2022 at 5:29 am

    analysis is not complete. The author did not take into account another significant factor. Ukraine’s military infrastructure is under constant shelling. no, not only the one at the front, the entire military infrastructure throughout Ukraine. and it happens every day. Every day, dozens of military infrastructure facilities are destroyed in the depths of Ukrainian territory.
    there is practically no opportunity to prepare new units. if at the beginning of the month the troops of the Russian Federation took the military who had combat experience and were trained, then at the end of the month students who were mobilized under the threat of criminal prosecution were already captured. these are people who have completed a training course of 7 (!!!) days and fired from a AK 2 times in their lives. the first time at the shooting range 5 rounds and the second time from fright when they encountered RF troops. the combat effectiveness of the troops that were driven to the front under the threat of imprisonment is also in doubt. those who have been motivated for a long time at the front and are suffering heavy losses. the number of those who want to save the junta that seized power in 2014 is rapidly declining.

  31. CK

    April 28, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    Yes from Russia with love, we have all seen how terrible Ukrainian units are trained, entire battalions just surrendering without a fight, the constant retreat, the poor morale, the lack of supplies, the utter hopelessness of their cause, the sheer incompetence of their leaders, the – wait, oh how silly of me, I was talking about the Russians there!

    Silly me! Golly gosh, I did do make a mistake there, didn’t you see? I’m sorry sweetpea, even old CK ain’t above a good ol’ honest slip o’ the mind. Kind of like decrepit, pill poppin’ Mr.Putin?

    Oh my oh my!

  32. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:17 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  33. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

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