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24 Months of Hell: Why the War Between Russia and Ukraine Won’t End for Another Two Years

Predicting when the Russo-Ukraine war will end is a puzzle. The conflict’s duration fits poorly with previous wars initiated by Russia since its defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig in 1813. 

Russian Military T-90 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Russian Military T-90 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Predicting when the Russo-Ukraine war will end is a puzzle. The conflict’s duration fits poorly with previous wars initiated by Russia since its defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig in 1813. 

In April 2022, I predicted in RealClearDefense that Russia’s war would end in one of two ways, based on previous outcomes: either as a victory, in which case it would end in 8 months, or as a defeat that would drag on for 16 months, concluding in approximately June 2023. The war passed through both deadlines, showing Moscow’s commitment to hold onto its gains in the Donbas and Crimea. 

I have therefore retreated into the Correlates of War dataset to harvest further insights. I now predict that the Russo-Ukraine war will end one or two campaign seasons after Putin mobilizes the under-35 cohort. My explanation is that with the exceptions of the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War, when worker unrest combined with a sharp Russian defeat at the Straits of Tsushima and the siege of Port Arthur, and the exhaustion of the First World War, Russia has never otherwise submitted to peace because of a threat of a domestic uprising against the regime in power. 

However, my optimistic conclusion is that the global liberal social movement sometimes manifests in color revolutions, which are unprecedented. That system will even prevail against a nuclear-armed state, so eventual victory against Putin depends on Western persistence in supporting Ukraine.

Why Predicting Conflicts Like Ukraine Is Hard

Threats and actual use of force between different countries are extremely rare events. Seventy-two percent of militarized disputes between countries — defined as non-accidental government-sanctioned threats or actual uses of force — are between just two states. For example, in one contemporary datatset, there were 200,778 years of two-country interactions among all the world’s almost 200 countries. Of these, only 2,586 resulted in disputes (about 1.2 percent). There were only 95 wars by 2023 (3.6 percent of the 1.2 percent of country pairs). 

Scholars like Quincy Wright (A Study of War – 1942), Lewis Richardson (Statistics of Deadly Quarrels – 1960) and Dan Reiter (How Wars End – 2009) have grappled with the fact that such small proportions limit the utility of the mathematical projections and inferential statistics needed to validate generalizations. What political scientists call the endogeneity problem means that to understand the probabilistic likelihood of decisions for war, we must compare them to the frequency of decisions by leaders to “not start a war under consideration” (which is not the same as simply not deciding anything). This is a permanent unknown that politicians typically take with them to the grave. Political scientists struggle against the assertion of many military historians that wars are unique, sui generis events that defy predictability. Similarly, political-psychological personality profiles of leaders tend to be poor predictors, as most politicians have high emotional quotients that resist simple categorization.

We are left with some true but useless tautologies: Wars happen when country leaders dislike the peace, or when they are pre-empting an enemy threat by attacking first. They also happen when the two countries disagree about the relative distribution of military power, since logically a weaker country should never start a war it could not win. 

Depending on which dataset is being used, war initiators are found to win either 45 percent or 55 percent of the time, in effect a coin toss. For some personality types (Hannibal, Caesar, Bonaparte, Kaiser, Hitler, Hirohito), these are great odds. For most others, they are reckless. 

What we do know is that of the wars fought since 1816, 35 cases involved the complete defeat and occupation of one of the countries, and another 26 cases had a change in regime caused in part by the victor, the latter of which is what Ukraine must do to Moscow to stop the war on its terms.

Russia Is Hard to Exhaust

The Russo-Ukraine War has outlasted every war Russia has fought by itself except the 1853-1856 Crimean War. Despite suffering losses approaching half a million dead, Russia’s desire to negotiate a peace in that war was driven by concerns about Austrian activities in the Balkans, and not by domestic instability. To put this into context, since the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 there have been 95 wars between countries, of which 30 took place in Europe. Russia or the Soviet Union was involved in 10. Russia was involved in another seven wars outside of Europe — three against China, three against Japan, and one against Persia — in the same period. 

The 10 European wars involving Russia include the First World War (44 months) and Second World War (47 months), which are unusual because the costs of their long duration were partially offset by the assistance provided by allies, although in the former case Russia succumbed to defeat-induced mutiny. Russia’s 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was presaged by the domestic instability that compelled Russia to seek peace in the 11-month Russo-Japanese War.

There were minor precursor skirmishes between Russia and the Ottoman Empire between 1806-1812, which did not escalate because Napoleon’s support for Persia led Constantinople to wisely refuse his invitation to join the campaign against Moscow. Three post-1816 wars involved campaigns against Turkey (16 months in 1828-1829, 10 months in 1877-1878, and the 29-month Crimean War), and the First World War involved a Russian conflict with the Ottoman Empire. 

In the first two cases, the Ottoman Empire sought peace amid its teetering disintegration. In the Crimean War, Napoleon III lost interest once his capture of Sevastopol had restored France’s prestige, and Russia outlasted the English, whose government’s determination was compromised by an active peace movement. Russia engaged in small-scale skirmishing with the Persian Empire from 1804-1813, which sued for peace once their ally Napoleon had abandoned Moscow. Near the end of the 18-month Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), Tehran sued for peace when its army became too demoralized to continue fighting. 

Another three wars are post-revolutionary liberation movements that prevailed against disarrayed Russian occupation forces in Estonia (1918-1920), Latvia (1918-1919), and during the 25-month long Russo-Polish War (1919-1920). The remaining two conflicts are the three-month Russo-Finnish War (1939-1940) and the five-day Soviet invasion of Hungary (1956). 

In none of these conflicts was Russia exhausted, either on the battlefield or on the home front. Russia made peace in 1920 with Warsaw after the Russo-Polish War in order to focus on the civil war in the Ukraine. Similarly, Moscow’s peace with Finland in 1940 was prompted by concerns of Anglo-French intervention, not because of the political consequences of high casualties.

Threats Clarify Resistance

As part of its Asian campaigns, Russia’s two initiated wars against China both resulted in victories due to Peking’s relative isolation: a three-month conflict related to the Boxer rebellion in 1900, and a four-month conflict with a Chinese warlord in 1929. Russia was defeated by Japan over a one-month clash at Changkufeng in 1938, and then inflicted a costly stalemate on Japan for over four months at Nomonhan in 1939, both instances in which Japan was the initiator. In none of these conflicts were the losses substantial, nor did they impact Russia or the Soviet Union’s domestic stability. Russia’s defeat of China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, and the Soviet Union’s destruction of the Japanese Manchurian Army in 1945, were both campaigns conducted while Russia was embedded in broad coalitions. 

I would like, consequently, to examine a set of five variables that do a better job of timing the termination of the Russo-Ukraine War to one or two campaign seasons after the initial Russian mass mobilization of the under-35 urban population cohort.

The first variable: Ukraine’s commitment to continued resistance, which is high, is driven as much by a similar culture of self-defense as the Russians, given Ukraine’s lack of defensible frontiers, as it is by a fear of Russia’s brutal methods. Eighteen months into the conflict, Ukraine shows no evidence of wavering, which would be revealed in indicators as rates of desertion, surrendering, collaboration, or routing. Embolden by Western aid, by the fact that Ukraine has not yet fully mobilized its manpower, and by Russian attacks on the Ukrainian civilian population that remind of Russia’s hostility to Ukrainian interests, this variable is unlikely to change for four years or more. For this analysis, the high levels of motivation demonstrated by the Ukrainians can be taken at least as durable as that of the Soviets during the Second World War.

The resistance of South Koreans during the Korean War, and of the South Vietnamese for nearly four years after the departure of the U.S. in 1972, indicate that populations are willing to commit if they agree with their political leaders about the definition of a clear threat. Naval Postgraduate School Professor Carter Malkasian has demonstrated that political victory can be achieved even in a war of attrition if there is a sustainable and punishing loss ratio inflicted on the enemy. The Iran-Iraq War persisted for eight years before it was terminated by dramatic territorial changes inflicted by the Iraqi Army. However, while Ukrainian counteroffensives and maneuvers may recapture territory, they will never compel Russia to terminate the war unless Ukraine has the potential to provoke a popular revolt in Russia.

Western Interests

The second variable is the sustainability of consistent Western economic and military support to Ukraine. This is complicated by differing interests in the Western alliance. The strongest supporters are frontline countries that worry about Russian military threats to their territories — states such as Poland, Slovakia, the Baltic States, and Finland — and particularly those states with Russian populations, such as Estonia. Even states that are seeking independent foreign policies, like Turkey, France, and Hungary, provide economic and military assistance to Ukraine, as do states that are dependent on imported Russian energy, like Germany and Italy.

The U.S. interest in particular, as the largest contributor to NATO, is to address the Russian threat in the near-term, so that it cannot ally with China in the future and distract a U.S. defense of Taiwan. As with Iraq’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provided the U.S. with an opportunity to inflict considerable attrition on Russia’s armed forces, while also justifying global sanctions to support the possibility of a liberalizing regime change in Moscow. China is far less likely to attack Taiwan if it is diplomatically and strategically isolated. 

Bipartisan support in Washington for continued financial and armaments assistance to Ukraine remains strong, given that disbursements are still less than the total amount spent on operations in Iraq. U.S. support would drop if Russia indicated it would escalate to weapons of mass destruction to defend Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics, although Washington may still encourage Ukrainian resistance if it believed that regime change in Moscow was attainable.

Help Is Not on Russia’s Way

Like many aggressive authoritarian states, Russia has poorly formulated foreign policies that are self-isolating, and this is the third variable. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had already alienated the USSR in its 1979 border standoff with Syria. Libya’s erratic Moammar Gadhafi had likewise alienated his country from socialist Arab states, the Soviet Union, and even its main oil customers such as Italy. 

The Kremlin’s political architecture consists of Putin, nominally backed by the United Russia Party, standing atop a series of Siloviki factions that exchange power for funding with the oligarchs, all of whom oversee an increasingly staggering state apparatus. Like most authoritarian states, far fewer ministers are represented at the highest Cabinet levels than in democracies, with the Foreign Ministry most often supplanted by the domestic security apparatus and the military, and by the leader’s belief that they can simply call up their fellow autocrats. 

The consequence is Russia’s inability to cultivate reliable alliances with other countries, unless those states are already hostile to the U.S. Therefore, Russia’s only allies are weapons providers like Iran. China, fearful that it would be chainganged given its focus on its domestic stability, is reluctant to enter into any agreement with Moscow, however much Beijing would like to divert American attention and treasure to Ukraine. China’s peace overtures in April 2023 were at best aimed at saving Russia from liberal regime change, which would further isolate Chinese President Xi Jinping in the event Beijing moved against Taiwan. In effect, this variable indicates that Russia’s wartime stamina will not be significantly shored up by allies.

Mass Mobilization Is Dangerous

The fourth variable, a key factor to war duration, is the conflict’s impact on Russia’s under-35 population. This cohort is the main driver of the world’s color revolutions, regardless of culture. Vladimir Putin has a persistent political support level of 70 percent, but this backing is soft and will drop to one-third if youth from Russia’s European metropolises begin suffering significant battlefield casualties

As of April 2023, the rate of battlefield losses from the Moscow region is less than 3 per 100,000, as compared with much higher ratios drawn from rural and ethnic minority communities. Mass recruitment of youth will lead to passive resistance during training and deployment and mass desertion and mutinies for troops that are rotated out of the frontline, before they are disarmed. These losses, as well as imposing a police state in anticipation of these reactions, will also alienate some of the older generation, typically the parents of these under-35 cohort. The faster Ukrainian attacks compel further Russian mobilization, the sooner the war will end.

Finally, the Ukrainian campaign season is summer, and this timing will determine when Russia’s political elite gambles on youth recruitment. Given concerns in the Kremlin about a military revolt led by the under-35 cohort, they are likely to pursue a strategy of attrition in the fall and winter of 2023. There may be a call-up of a million under-35s in the Fall of 2023, especially if Ukraine continues to advance, but it will likely be falsely advertised as excluding service within Ukraine. This will lead to their deployment in the campaign season of the summer of 2024. Revolt will likely take place by fall 2024, and cause political unrest in the spring of 2025, or possibly a year later if two campaign seasons are required for social mobilization. 

Russian domestic stability is historically more robust than the stereotypes of the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the USSR suggest. However, the Ukrainian goal of inciting regime change is nevertheless conceivable, given the liberal sentiments of Russia’s under-35 cohort. Critics of pro-Ukrainian Western policy, such as University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, have argued that Russia, by virtue of its size, cannot be defeated by Ukraine. Rather, given the severe disparity in the motivations of the median military age recruit, Russia’s army may indeed crack before Ukraine’s.

Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill is an associate professor of international relations at Concordia University (Montreal), former army engineer officer, and has written extensively on Pakistan, where he conducted field research for over ten years.

Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill is an associate professor of international relations at Concordia University (Montreal), former army engineer officer, and has written extensively on Pakistan, where he conducted field research for over ten years



  1. Stephen

    September 8, 2023 at 11:41 am

    Imagine in 1939 predicting the course of WWII based on data and learnings from just a few years earlier, and moreover, data from the same combatants. Yeah. Worthless.

    The very nature of the Ukrainian conflict is evolving faster than the daily shape of the battlefield. That nature has no historical precedence and many, many variables that will dictate the shape and timing of the conclusion of fighting. Itself only a milestone.

    I suspect the outcome of the war will not be known until long after the shooting stops and likely never agreed. WWII was arguably not a true second war, but merely round two of a first. Similarly, Ukraine is likely the first round of the coming Asian war and until that is won and lost…..

  2. David

    September 8, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    Excellent analysis, the motivation of Ukraine is more stable and higher than russian soldiers… they fight to survive like a nation… a nation of 42 million can’t be silenced and defeated during a long time period.

  3. Cheburator

    September 8, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    When the war in Ukraine ends, Russia decides, and Russia can end this war in one day by eliminating the Ukrainian vertical of power, turning Ukraine into a headless chicken.
    But if Russia preserves the Ukrainian establishment, then there is a need to maintain its current status, and if I were Zelensky, I would be afraid of the moment when Putin will no longer need this useful idiot.

  4. 404NotFound

    September 8, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    This war is the grand handiwork of biden and his great democrat fascist-wokeist party of america.

    This ukro proxy war can be directly traced to the 2014 putsch that was underpinned by $5 billion big greenbacks as proudly related by nuland herself.

    It was supposed to start in 2017 but was delayed due to the unexpected defeat of democrat neocon-warmonger miss hillary clinton.

    But after biden won in 2020, there was no way to avoid the war.

    Thus, today’s terribly bloody war, just like what america has always wanted, where massive amounts of weapons & ammo go in with destruction and killing on a wanton scale taking place far far away from america’s soil.

    Eventually, the US-sent-out chicken or chickens will come home to roost, when russia starts using nukes, whipping up untold panic and creating massive market chaos, sparking riot, looting and robbery.

    Finito then for american civil society, and kaput for the democrat fascist-wokeist party.

  5. ZivBnd

    September 8, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    Ukraine had a pop of nearly 42Mn before the war but it had a huge birth dearth from 1990 until 2005 and was in very bad shape.
    It now has a population of around 36Mn and the people that fled last year were predominantly young mothers and their children. Can Ukraine recover? That may be the question we need to ask, not can Ukraine win the war.

  6. George Gordon Byron

    September 8, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    Dear Dr. Spencer-Churchill,
    So, about the history of Russia’s wars:
    1) Let’s leave the wars of more than 200 years ago… But even at this time, Russia was successfully growing with rich territories and a large population.
    2) During the 18th and 19th centuries, Russia spent 128 years in wars, and only 72 years were peaceful. Out of 128 years, only five fall on defensive wars, all the rest are aggressive campaigns.
    2.1) To implement these strategic plans, Russia conducted 19 wars in the 18th century.
    2.2) In the 19th century, Russia waged 15 external wars and 3 internal wars. The external wars lasted for more than 67 years. In peacetime falls 32 years and 9 months. With 67 years of continuous fighting – defensive wars lasted 2 years and 1 month. The rest – 121 military operations – were played out outside the borders of the empire.
    2.3) Over 200 years of wars, Russia, which had a total population of 12 million at the beginning of the 18th century, has turned into a power that in the current 1900 has 132 million people.
    3) In the 20th century, the Russian Empire, the Boxer Rebellion, the Georgian Uprising, the 1st Russian Revolution, the Iranian War, the Uprising in Central Asia were victorious.
    The Japanese War, World War 1 led to defeats.
    4) RSFSR, USSR (themselves or with allies) victories against “angel-like” countries and forces in the 20th century :
    White Movement, Mountain Republic, Makhnovshchina, Green Army, Great Britain, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Greece, USA, France. Serbia, Romania, Italy, China, Mongolia,
    Ukrainian People’s Republic, West Ukrainian People’s Republic Hetmanate of Ukraine, Romania, Poland, France, Greece, Kazakhstan Campaign, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Georgia, Karelia, China, Chechnya, Estonia, Latvia. Lithuania, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Thailand, Manchukuo, Mengjiang, Wang Jingwei regime, rebels in Eastern Europe, French Indochina, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, etc., etc.
    The RSFSR, the USSR approximately participated in 55 known conflicts in Europe, Asia, Africa, of which the RSFSR, the USSR and the allies won in about 25 cases, in 13 cases there was a defeat, in 17 cases a stalemate.
    5) The Russian Federation participated (participates) in 11 military confrontations: 1 lost, 6 won, 4 continue now.
    It is clear, in general, based on territorial and demographic results, that Russia has won most of these wars. It is wrong to focus on defeats and ignore Russia’s victories.
    PS is ready to discuss with the author the military campaigns, N.R. USA, V. Britain, NATO and compare them by success…

  7. Sofronie the Monk

    September 8, 2023 at 7:04 pm

    @Cheburator: Actually, the only way Russia can end the war in one day is by going back to Russia. If Zelenski would be killed and even if they’d occupy the entire country, it would be Afghanistan 2.0.

  8. jonathan

    September 8, 2023 at 9:48 pm

    Just have to say that this was one of the more unreadable pieces I’ve encountered. I tried to be patient but found it a hard slog. That for all the comments, it helped me realize that it would not be worth my time. Collectively, you provided me an excellent summary. My apologies Dr Spencer-Churchill.

  9. TJ Jackson

    September 8, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    This analysis leaves out the question of why? The Russian populace does not support this war. So when it actively opposes it, what happens to Putin? How long does lack of success sustain sacrifice from the Russian populace? How long before Putin’s minions decide Putin’s days are numbered?

  10. Sofronie the Monk

    September 8, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    @George Gordon Byron: Gyorgi, Gyorgi, playing with history again, are we?

    Since you love facts so much, let us know ONE major war that Russia has won since Napoleon’s invasion against an opponent anywhere nearly equal to them, without having allies to help it. And even in 1812 they received consistent financial assistance from the UK.

    Russia’s glorious military history since then has been marked by splendid victories against much weaker opponents (Polish rebels, Central Asian medieval states, small European or Caucasian countries – preferably isolated), bullying “the sick man of Europe” (aka Turkey), with occasional setbacks even against that one (namely almost botching the 1877-1878 war) and getting their behind kicked, amongst others, by Poles, Finns, Germans, Japanese, Austrians etc. and winning their only clear major victory against a powerful ally in TWO CENTURIES (namely WW2) with massive assistance from its allies, without which it would have lost.

    So yeah, great and invincible “madarasia”, growing fat by slowly chewing bits and pieces of its weaker neighbors.

  11. George Gordon Byron

    September 8, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    To Rev. Sophronius:
    1) In fact, the only way the US, UK, NATO, EU can end the war in one day on all continents of the globe is to return to the US, UK, NATO, EU.
    2) Yours: “If Zelensky is killed and even if they occupy the entire country, it will be Afghanistan 2.0.”
    Answer: Afghanistan 2.0. It has already happened – with the inglorious flight of your “white masters” the USA, Great Britain, NATO, the EU. By the way, Ukraine was among this cohort of inglorious fugitives from Afghanistan.

  12. Dmitry

    September 9, 2023 at 2:12 am

    I see some reason in a first part or analysis but author is absolutely wrong about internal political situation in Russia. Russia is not autocratic state with dictatorship in power. And possibility or revolt inside Russia is near zero, if battlefield losses will become high (which is not now) that will lead only to increased support of government and much more unity inside Russia. Also Russia still has a large reserves of men in their 35-50 years with combat experience. Also such men are more willing to volunteer into the army since they have a grown up children and sometimes no bond with family. For example Russia still can mobilise to frontline units around 200,000 police officers without great impact on inner security.

  13. Сheburator

    September 9, 2023 at 5:31 am

    Sofronie the Monk

    There will be no Afghanistan 2.0, the problem of Ukraine is that there is a huge layer of population disloyal to Kyiv, disloyal because of the political agenda supported by Kiev and repression.
    And this is from 50% to 60% simply disloyal, another 30-40%% will accept any political system, as long as it is not the junta Zelensky. Now Zelensky retains power in the country only through repressive methods, monopolizing violence.

    So, in the event of the occupation of the territory of Ukraine, many ideologically minded Ukrainians will simply flee the country, some kind of terrorist underground will remain, but its functioning will be largely complicated by both the disloyalty of the population and outright opponents.
    In addition, do not forget about Russia’s experience in the fight against Islamic terrorist organizations in Caucas.

  14. George Gordon Byron

    September 9, 2023 at 6:26 am

    To Reverend Sophronius from impoverished and enslaved Romania by the USA, Great Britain, NATO and the EU, and (at the same time!) – he is the herald of a free, democratic and prosperous (at the expense of other countries!) imperialist Western world:
    1) In fact, the only way the US, UK, NATO, EU can end the war in one day on all continents of the globe is to return to the US, UK, NATO, EU.
    2) Yours: “If Zelensky is killed and even if they occupy the entire country, it will be Afghanistan 2.0.”
    Answer: Afghanistan 2.0. It has already happened – with the inglorious flight of your “white masters” the USA, Great Britain, NATO, the EU. By the way, this cohort of inglorious fugitives from Afghanistan included both Romania and Ukraine.

  15. Sofronie the Monk

    September 9, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    @Cheburator: Anti-Russian resistance after WW2 existed in Eastern Europe for more than a decade, against very harsh reprisals, despite having zero external support. Also, if the Soviet Union couldn’t occupy a country of 12 million people like Afghanistan, what makes you think that it can a country of over 40 million people, like Ukraine? Even if there were people who were opposing Kyiv, the Russian invasion and the glorious victories at Bucha or Irpin put an end to that. So yeah, “huge layer of population disloyal to Kyiv”. We can see in all the mass riots and defections to the Russian side. Wonder why aren’t the Ukrainian soldiers defecting to Russia, hmm?

    Gyorgi, my dear boy, “impoverished and enslaved Romania” has a greater GDP/capita than the richest country in the world, namely Russia. Can you imagine how humiliating that must be? Even better, Bulgaria is getting close as well. And let me guess: because we have savagely exploited our African colonies, right?

    You still didn’t get back to us on which major conflict did Russia win by itself.

  16. Steve Dyer

    September 9, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    @tj jackson – major problem, the russian population actually does support the war, it has done so more and more increasingly with every wave of sanctions and military aid package.

    Anyone thinking otherwise is a blind fool, German tanks with Teutonic crosses etched on them – how do you think that is perceived by Russians, how are British missiles and french, USA etc arms being used to kill russians perceived.

    Anyone who thinks that this leads to a will to remove Putin rather than a hardening of support has NO knowledge about the Russian mentality.

    On the main article, I’m unsure I can take any article seriously which simply uses the Ukranian government figures, 500k russian dead, really? Cmon engage your brain, think about that, does it sound realistic whatsoever? At least the author points out how unbelievably wrong he’s already been about pretty much everything though.

  17. Cheburator

    September 9, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    Sofronie the Monk
    1) Now is not the Second World War and Zelensky and his Nazis have tired the population, and the days when partisans could hide in the forests are gone. There will be some resistance, but it will quickly deflate.
    The war is supported only by those who receive direct benefits and social elevators. Considering that Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe, there are few such beneficiaries, patriotism has nothing to do with it.

    2) The misconception that the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan.
    The Soviet contingent in Afghanistan was of a police nature.

    3) Another misconception regarding Afghanistan is that the USSR was defeated. The wording in the withdrawal order is “withdraw troops in connection with the completion of the task.”
    Najibula’s government fell only in 1995, i.e. 6 years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops.
    Those. The USSR left a viable government in Afghanistan, which the Taliban overthrew only 6 years later with funding from the US, UK, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
    How long did Ghani’s rule last after the coalition left?

    4) The Bucha was staged by the Ukrainian Nazis to accuse Russia, and of Irpen too. The Ukrainians needed bright picture, and they done false flag operations.

    5) Russia has a significant number of prisoners of war who do not want to return to Ukraine.

    6) Any mass riots against Kyiv will end like the Warsaw Uprising – reprisals against civilians. And the population disloyal to Kyiv understands this. And there will be no condemnatory reaction – the United States and NATO will justify any crime of Kyiv.

  18. 0Zed

    September 10, 2023 at 10:43 am

    We can’t expect blitzkrieg success without the necessary material, tools, and know-how.

    Hopes that Russian will collapses are just that: hopes. Hopes should never become expectations. The last time Russian military will collapsed was WWI. The last time Russian political will collapsed was Afghanistan.

  19. Jim

    September 10, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    Trying to predict a war based on mathematical probability based on past wars as a basis of prediction is wrong.

    It’s no better than the study of Economics as a mathematical construct… Economics is not Science, rather, it’s a social study… and the correct term in my opinion is Political-Economy.

    Predictors in war are men available to fight and material logistics capability… morale is a major factor… but hard to measure in advance because morale is not simply pre-contact with the enemy, but post contact as well… here, Kiev’s forces have suffered tremendous casualties and evidence exists of logistic shortfalls affecting morale… lack of food, lack of ammo.

    Of course, Kiev isn’t going to announce poor morale (and neither is Russia, for that matter).

    Given what I’ve read, the author, in my opinion, is wrong about the likelihood of Putin being removed from power. The author is parroting the conventional wisdom… or I should say, feverish desire to see Putin gone?

    The big predictor: what does Russia want to do?

    One, we know they want to contain the battlefield and cause a military collapse in place, as opposed to a Big Arrow offense that “cracks” Kiev’s forces.

    Kiev may be initiating an offensive (going badly… and left out entirely from consideration by the author), but Russia holds the strategic initiative, if they choose to do so… because they do have the men & material… with decent morale.

    What will happen to Kiev’s forces’ morale when the failure of the present offensive is manifest for all to see and it can’t be “papered over” by compliant media and government spin?

    That’s a big part of the coming two months, by the middle of November there should be a much clearer picture of the real trends of the war.

    Settled on the battlefield, not by mathematical equation.

  20. Sofronie the Monk

    September 10, 2023 at 1:17 pm


    1. In Eastern Europe, that resistance never went away. The proof of that – as soon as we were able to, we all toppled our Russian imposed regimes. Tell me one single country in Europe that still looks to Russia (except for Belarus, which doesn’t have a choice). The cold hard fact is that we simply don’t want to be Russian colonies. But it’s OK, Westerners needed some time to accept as well the fact that Africans didn’t want them there, Russians will eventually get it as well. All the need to do is die a bit more.

    2. Police operation, just like this was a special military operation, right? Over half a million soldiers in total, over 100,000 at their peak, thousands of tanks, helicopters, planes, ballistic missiles etc.

    3. And again with the lie that Afghanistan was a sort of victory for the Soviets and the Afghan government lasted for 6 years, when in fact it lasted far less. The USSR intervened in 1979 and retreated in 1989 because they could not continue (pretty much just like the US in Vietnam before them). They left behind a civil war, because Afghanistan was never pacified. Najibullah’s regime was able to stay in power only through massive Russian support, and after the Soviet Union thankfully toppled, that stopped as well. So the Soviet support ended in late 1991, and on April 15, 1992, Najibullah resigned. So in reality, his government was able to survive on its own for less than a year. So tell us again how did the successful police operation go.

    4. Just like Katyn was done by the Nazis, right?

    5. Yes, and look how many of them joined the Russian cause…

    6. You mean the same Warsaw Uprising that failed because the Russian army conveniently stopped close to the city and refused to allow the Allies to help the Poles in order to eliminate the Armia Krajowa and replace it with Communists? Also, in 600 days there has been not ONE protest against the war in Ukraine. Do they want the war? Of course not. But to they want to surrender to Russia in order to end it? Hell, no. Just like the Russians did not surrender to the Nazis in WW2.

  21. Gary D Jacobs

    September 10, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Brigadier General Christian Freuding of Germany just gave a clear message on his visit to Ukraine:

    “We are ready and prepared for a long-lasting war. The aid to Ukraine is already financially secured until 2032!”

    I suspect that even an opportunist hack like Trump, if he is unfortunately re-elected in the US, would also continue to support Ukraine if there are more gains made vs. Russia by next summer and it is the prevailing narrative that perceives Ukraine as winning

    Then Trump will claim that was his position, to support Ukraine, all along.

    The next few weeks and months will be interesting to watch. Ukraine has made gains in several areas, and now needs to turn that into a full operational breakthrough. Especially towards Tokmak.

    But the foothold on left bank Dnipro in Kherson is expanding also…and the Russians are in deep trouble.

    With the 31 Abrams coming soon + 100 Leopard 1s, and another 190 MRAPS… Ukraine has enough to rotate in fresh troops and make another big push.

    Lots of tough fighting left ahead… but the more gains Ukraine makes, the more time they buy themselves to make even more progress.

  22. Jim

    September 10, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Time to move the goal posts… we’re gearing up for an unending, forever war, so say the war’s most fervent supporters… dragging on… dragging the United States down into the quagmire… “if only we stay the course, it’ll work out… I know it… they’ll crack”… and, so on.

    Point of order, Gary: Kiev’s forces aren’t presently across the Dnipro in Kherson… and when they do cross… they eventually are forced to retreat… this pattern has repeated several times. There certainly isn’t an operational hub of any kind across the river.

    Another factor not mentioned in the piece: Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Public opinion is slipping, if still strong in Congress… but these things can change quickly… even a hidebound Congressman or ancient Senator can adapt to sinking poll numbers.

    Americans have had enough of forever wars!

    That’s going to be on the ballot.

  23. Сheburator

    September 10, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    Sofronie the Monk

    1) How many governments in Europe were not raised with money from the Soros Foundation?
    But it’s good to sell hostility towards Russians when you’re full. How many countries are now at risk of making a turn towards Russia just because the government has lost support due to a destroyed economy, amid hostility with Russia, even in Romania there are enough people who are in favor of dialogue with Russia.
    And how do you prevent this? Repression? Civil war? Witch hunt?
    Will you do anything to maintain power?

    2) The type of operation does not depend on the scale

    3) Well, first of all, they couldn’t, and there was no need for the presence of Soviet troops. For several years there was a strong decline in the activity of the Mujahideen, and peak activity occurred only in 1994. And after the departure of the USSR, the government continued to exist for another 6 years.

    4) Regarding Katyn, many positions are being promoted, and each side puts aside its point of view, but which of them is correct is a matter of historical debate.
    You remembered Katyn, but for some reason you don’t remember the war crimes of the Poles?

    5) 2.5 million Ukrainians left for the territory of the Russian Federation after the start of the war, about 10 lived before, at least another 10 million live in the territory where hostilities are taking place. A large number of Russian sympathizers live in the territories controlled by Ukraine, but prefer to remain silent about their beliefs because threats to life. That’s the math.

    6) Why were there no protests during the 600 days of the war – let me remind you that there was such an event on May 2, 2014 – then it was a civil protest of the opposition, we know how it ended. Why do you think that attempts at anti-war protest will end differently. And just for an anti-war publication on social networks in Ukraine now you can end up in prison.

    The Warsaw Uprising was not coordinated, and this is not due to the communists. but the fact is that the Soviet army fought thousands of miles, and the Home Army demanded that the Soviet army immediately cross the river and storm the city. So the Home Army was let down by Polish pride. The Russians preferred to wait for the main forces rather than go into limited force with an assault.

  24. Cheburator

    September 10, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    Gary D Jacobs
    Will there be enough Ukrainians until 2032?

  25. from Russia with love

    September 11, 2023 at 11:52 am

    @Gary D Jacobs
    “Ukraine has made gains in several areas, and now needs to turn that into a full operational breakthrough.”
    ha ha ha. 🙂 dude, stop making me laugh! 🙂
    open the map and look at these “successes”. but the map of Ukraine will not help you. on the map of ukraine these are two small dots that can only be found if you know exactly where to look. you will need a map of the Zaporozhye region where you can see these “impressive successes”. 🙂
    at what cost was this achieved? Before the start of the “spring counteroffensive,” Ukraine received about 200 modern tanks, more than 150 artillery pieces, about 1,500 armored vehicles and more than 10 brigades trained by NATO instructors. and where is all this? burning in the fields near Rabotino. There, in the forest belts, the entrails of 10 Ukrainian brigades are scattered along the branches. and all this in order to report on the capture of a village from 2 streets. It is noteworthy that Ukraine reported the capture of Rabotino but has still not been able to gain a foothold in Rabotino.
    but now everything will change because an indestructible armada is approaching! 🙂
    “With the 31 Abrams coming soon + 100 Leopard 1s, and another 190 MRAPS…”
    should this turn the tide of the battle? Will 31 М1А1 from the last century and even older Leopard 1 break through where the new Leopard 2А7 and the Challenger 2, which had no combat losses, just burned out? where 1500 armored vehicles could not cope, now 190 must defeat the Russians? artillery? who needs this artillery! 🙂 the logic of Ukrainian patriots is something phenomenal! 🙂
    “Ukraine has enough to rotate in fresh troops and make another big push.”
    Yes Yes. Certainly. Why then demand the extradition of Ukrainians of military age from the EU? Are there fewer and fewer fools inside Ukraine who are ready to die for the Zelensky regime? Zelensky is doing so “well” that we will soon see a Zelenskyjugend. 😉
    “But the foothold on left bank Dnipro in Kherson is expanding also…”
    does not expand. a bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnieper appears once a week. Once a week, Ukraine delivers suicides to the left bank, reports on the bridgehead, Russian artillery kills the suicides, and the next week history repeats itself. I knew that Jews do not like Nazis, but Zelensky is sending Ukrainian Nazis to certain death on a similar scale as the Germans once sent Jews to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. 1000 per day.
    “The next few weeks and months will be interesting to watch.”
    why not years? or did you mean the next 510 weeks? 🙂 even Ukrainian patriots like you don’t believe that Ukraine can do anything other than crap itself. 🙂

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