Why Are You in Ukraine, Again?
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” on February 24, 2022, with the main goal of “de-nazifying” the neighboring country. The rationale was as bogus—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish—like many of the other claims coming out of the Kremlin.
But as the “de-nazifying” rationale has been falling apart after 14 months of war, the Russian government has been inconsistent with the reasoning behind the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“The Russian state is struggling to maintain consistency in a core narrative that it uses to justify the war in Ukraine: that the invasion is analogous to the Soviet experience in the Second World War,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
Even close Putin associates have begun to question the denazification of Ukraine’s argument. Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin recently questioned whether there are any actual Nazis in Ukraine, thus directly undermining the main reason for the full-scale invasion.
Old Conspiracy Theories
The Kremlin has continued to use bogus, 80-year-old theories about Ukraine’s role in World War Two to justify its modern aggression.
The claims are often distracting and have nothing to do with the actual fighting in Ukraine.
For example, last week, Russian state news published stories about the Katyn Massacre that took place in 1940.
Perhaps one of the least known atrocities of World War Two, the Katyn Massacre was the murder of 22,000 Polish military officers and intellectuals by the Soviet forces. It was the Germans who actually discovered the atrocity when they launched their invasion of the Soviet Union. After years of lies and denial, the Russian government acknowledged the role of the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB, which is now the FSB, in 2010.
But now the Kremlin is intentionally mudding the waters once more to distract the Russian population and maintain a veil of mystery around historical events, thus making it easier to claim whatever it pleases to justify its actions.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine: New Numbers Look Grim
Every day the Russian forces lose a significant number of troops on the ground. In the last 24 hours, the Russian military and Wagner Group private military company lost almost 700 men killed or wounded. And the Russian forces are losing weapon systems as well. The materiel losses might not be as big as the human ones, but they add up.
Destroyed equipment includes 308 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 293 attack and transport helicopters, 3,672 tanks, 2,832 artillery pieces, 7,030 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 539 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,718 vehicles and fuel tanks, 289 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,298 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 337 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 911 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.