The war recap

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By GONZALEO LIRA*

This is a classic proxy war and Ukraine will pay the price.

Quick recap for those who haven't been keeping up with what's been going on in Ukraine but want to understand: 24/02, the Russians invaded from the south, southeast, east and north in a lightning campaign. The Russians invaded with 190 troops – against 250 Ukrainian combat troops.

Russia has stationed 30 troops near Kiev – far from enough to capture the city, but enough to trap around 100 defenders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russia has also launched several axes of attack, with reinforcements in readiness (including a famous 40 km long column of tanks), to see where they might be needed.

The key is that the blitz russia in several axes prevented an imminent Blitzkrieg Ukrainian. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were about to invade the Donbas. This was the immediate motivation for the Russian invasion: to beat them to the punch and sabotage the imminent Ukrainian invasion – which they did.

Furthermore, by attacking from the north and south, the Russians disrupted the NATO arms supply chain. If Russia had only attacked in the east to prevent the Ukrainian Armed Forces from invading Donbas, there would have been an open corridor for resupply from the west. Threatening Kiev, it stopped. Thus, Ukraine's main forces were trapped in the east of the country, with the rest of the forces isolated and trapped – without easy resupply from the west. Russia then proceeded to target the Ukrainian Armed Forces' command/control and resupply links, further isolating and immobilizing Ukrainian forces.

The Russians soon nominally controlled UK-sized land in Ukraine – but it was a tenuous grip. Southern Ukraine was more completely under Russian control. The Armed Forces of Ukraine around Kherson simply dispersed. Mariupol became a clear battleground, as did Donbas itself.

Short-circuiting the impending Donbas invasion – which they did. Frightening the Zelensky regime into negotiating a political settlement – ​​which they failed to do.

Kiev had no intention of negotiating a ceasefire due to orders given to them by Washington: "Fight Russia to the last Ukrainian!" Furthermore, the neo-Nazi henchmen around Volodymyr Zelensky have threatened him if he negotiates and surrenders because they are terrified of the Russians.

So Volodymyr Zelensky launched a massive public relations and propaganda campaign, primarily to motivate Ukraine's forces to fight to the death. Myths were created (the Ghost of Kiev), false flag attacks were carried out (Bucha, Kramatorsk) and relentless media stories were relentlessly flogged.

The Russians continued to negotiate and try not to destroy Ukraine's infrastructure. In fact, at first they were even trying to minimize the casualties of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The evidence for this is overwhelming: Russia has not achieved civilian infrastructure – water, electricity, telephone, transport. They did not hit the Ukrainian Armed Forces barracks, command centers, government buildings, etc.

The Russians' initial priority was a negotiated settlement. But, at the end of March, they realized that this was impossible. That's why Russia withdrew from Kiev. It made no sense to put men close to the city when they weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing – exerting political pressure on Volodymyr Zelensky's regime to negotiate. This withdrawal was claimed as a “victory” in the “Battle of Kiev”!

Beginning in late March, the Russians pulled back and solidified their control over the area they had captured, ceding to the Ukrainian Armed Forces areas that were either useless or potentially too expensive to control. Ukraine's propaganda machine called all these setbacks "victories".

There was still a glimmer that the war might end in a negotiated settlement, but that ended in early April. After the March 30 Istanbul talks, the Ukrainian side cautiously agreed to some compromises, but within a week publicly disavowed these concessions.

That's when the Russians realized that Volodymyr Zelensky's regime was unfit for compromise: their Washington masters, Victoria Nuland and Anthony Blinken in particular, would not allow peace. They want this war to weaken Russia. It's a classic proxy war, and Ukraine will pay the price.

Something else the Russians noticed: sanctions. They hurt, but Russia bounced back with remarkable speed. In fact, they didn't hurt that much. But the theft of Russia's $300 billion in foreign reserves by the West hurt – badly. The Russians realized that they were in an all-out war with the West, and with their foreign reserves gone forever (probably to be stolen by corrupt Western politicians), the Russians now have nothing left to lose. By stealing its reserves, the West lost all power over Russia.

This sealed Ukraine's fate: Russians now have no incentive to give up what they have achieved. It cost them dearly in terms of men and riches. And they know they cannot negotiate a ceasefire. Volodymyr Zelensky's regime will simply break through further.

The Russians intend to permanently conquer and annex all of southern and eastern Ukraine. That is why their strategy on the battlefield has drastically changed: now they are carrying out a slow and methodical crushing and destruction of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The war in the first 30 days was a quick, mock war, nominally capturing vast portions of Ukrainian territory, with the aim of pressuring the Zelensky regime for a negotiated settlement. But the West's complete financial and political break with Russia means they have nothing to lose. And they have a lot to gain: the Donbas is rich in minerals, Ukraine's really productive farmland is in the east and south, Kharkiv is a big industrial city, the Sea of ​​Azov has incalculable reserves of natural gas. And besides that, the people love them. Why would the Russians now give up this hard-won prize?

And they won – make no mistake. Ask any military man who isn't a pig of the system, and he'll tell you: there's no way Ukraine's Armed Forces can win back their country. They don't have armor, they don't have air defense, they don't have fuel, they don't have communications – it's over.

The great tragedy is that many thousands of young people will die, and die needlessly, in order to postpone the inevitable. These brave boys will have fought so valiantly – and died so young, so cruelly – because of the evil of the Zelensky regime. That's the hard truth.

And in the end, this will be the map that will remain – a grim picture of Ukraine's future. Russia will pour billions into its newly acquired territory. It will prosper and flourish. But the remaining state of Ukraine will be left poor, destroyed, forgotten. A tragedy.[1]

 

*Gonzalo Lira is a novelist and filmmaker. Author, among other books, of Counterparts (Putnam and Sons).

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.

 

Note


[1] Complement by Bernhard Horstmann (aka Moon of Alabama) of this recap: “I agree with the above, except for two minor details. The move in Kiev was not intended to make it difficult for Ukrainian troops to resupply in the Donbas, but to “correct” the potential for reinforcement around the capital. This allowed Russian troops to open the Crimean corridor to the Russian border, as well as cross the Dnieper in the south and take Kherson. These were the most important moves for the further development of the war.

Nor do I believe that Russia will “annex” the areas it is liberating from fascist control. Once freed, the people of these areas will vote to become independent from Ukraine, and the various regions, Donbas, Luhansk, Kherson, Odessa, will form states that will become part of the Federal Republic of New Russia. That country will be recognized and supported by Russia and its allies.”

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