Russia's capture of Avdeevka

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By ANDREW KORYBKO*

The seizure of Avdeevka shows that NATO's proxy war through Ukraine is a lost cause after the fall of the last fortress city of the former Soviet Republic

The Russia finally captured the Ukrainian fortress city of Avdeevka, after a prolonged battle that ended with the chaotic retreat of Kiev and the abandonment of their wounded troops. The moment came over the weekend just as the Western elite were gathering in Germany for this year's Munich Security Conference, which conveniently allowed them to plan their next steps in this war by proxy. However, no significant financial or military assistance is expected, despite recently concluded security pacts by Ukraine with Germany and France.

Instead, as explained here earlier this month when analyzing the last Biden-Scholz Summit in Washington, DC, the West's focus will be on the long-term containment of Russia in Europe beyond the borders of the former Soviet Republic. To this end, Germany's role as the US's preferred partner in the European Union to “lead from behind” will become more prominent, which will take the form of the “Military Schengen" how Weimar Triangle revived, in order to accelerate the construction of the “Fortress Europe".

The three previous analyzes explain these concepts in more depth, as well as their relationship, but can be summarized as how Germany is exploring its comprehensive subordination of Poland to resume its long-lost superpower trajectory after a hiatus of almost eight decades. The reason why the West's attention will turn to accelerating this geostrategic shift rather than clinging to its proxy war against Russia through Ucrania after Avdeevka it is because it is now clear that the latter is a lost cause.

Russia has already won the “logistics race"/"war of attrition” with NATO that Secretary General Stoltenberg declared almost exactly a year ago, as proven by the failure of the counteroffensive and the subsequent reversal of the dynamics of this conflict, in which Ukraine is now back on the defensive. The replacement for the former commander-in-chief Zaluzhny, Syrsky, explicitly admitted this last week, before the disastrous withdrawal from Avdeevka, which is considered Kiev's last major stronghold in Donbass.

The stage is now set for a Russian offensive, which could very soon level the rest of the region, at best from Moscow's perspective and at worst from the West's perspective. This is not to say that it will actually happen that way, because the so-called “fog of war” makes it impossible to accurately discern all of Ukraine's defensive capabilities behind the Line of Contact, but it is not without reason that the West is panicking and Volodymyr Zelensky decided blame him for his last defeat.

He complained that the so-called “artificial lack of weapons” was responsible, alluding to the impasse in Congress over more aid to Ukraine, with which Joe Biden agreed to pressure his political opponents. Navalny's unexpected death on Friday was seized upon by anti-Russian hawks to demand that the House pass the Senate's proxy war financing bill when resume session later this month, but even if it is approved, the problem is that the US has already used up its stockpiles.

While it is possible that it could dip into the reserves it has saved to satisfy its national security needs and coerce its vassals to do the same, the fact is that the failure of the counteroffensive, despite the much greater aid given to Kiev thus far, suggests that this will not be possible. it will make a difference. Whatever was sent would be used only to hold the Line of Contact for as long as possible and prevent a Russian advance, in order to perpetuate the stalemate that Zaluzhny was the first to admit had developed in the autumn.

In fact, this description was inaccurate, as the Line of Contact continues to gradually shift westward and the pace may accelerate following Russia's capture of Avdeevka. President Vladimir Putin has already shown signs that it will not stop until its requests for security guarantees are met by military or diplomatic means, after have regretted recently not having ordered the start of the special operation earlier and having said on Sunday, after the fall of the Ukrainian fortress city, that victory is “a matter of life or death” for Russia.

It is not yet clear when and on what terms the conflict will end, but the writing is on the wall and clearly says that Russia's requests for security guarantees will be met. one way or another, which is why the West is now planning a decades-long “confrontation” with Russia, in Stoltenberg's own words. Herein lies the significance of the geostrategic shift that was identified earlier in this analysis regarding Germany's role as the US's main “Lead from Behind” partner in order to contain Russia in Europe.

To achieve this goal, NATO continental exercises “2024 Steadfast Defender” – the biggest since the end of the Cold War – will aim to optimize the partial implementation of the “military Schengen” between Germany, Poland and the Netherlands, to which France is expected to join soon. It is likely that the Baltic countries will also participate, as they need support to build their so-called “Baltic Defense Line”, which could extend to the Arctic if Finland also get involved, as expected.

The revived Weimar Triangle comes into play as Germany needs French support as Berlin cannot realistically do all this alone, which in turn has necessitated Poland's military subordination to its western neighbor. , through the aforementioned logistical pact between the two. A military corridor from France to Estonia, which could reach Finland via Denmark-Sweden (the latter is a NATO aspirant and is expected to join this new “Schengen”), is therefore taking shape before the eyes of the world .

Russia's seizure of Avdeevka will therefore reverberate throughout Europe, accelerating the implementation of these long-term containment plans, as NATO's proxy war through Ukraine is obviously a lost cause after the fall of the last city- fortress of the former Soviet Republic. It is this geostrategic dynamic that observers should pay more attention to than anything else, since the resumption of Germany's long-lost superpower trajectory is a development of global importance.

*Andrew Korybko holds a master's degree in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Book author Hybrid Wars: From Color Revolutions to Coups (popular expression). [https://amzn.to/46lAD1d]

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves


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