Ukraine – two years of war

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By RICARDO CAVALCANTI-SCHIEL*

The war that has been the Gordian knot that seems to have come to tie and gird the decline of Anglo-American hegemony

For two years now, the conflict in Ukraine has been the Gordian knot of geopolitics. To be even more precise – despite the controversy that, for many, this may produce –, it has been the Gordian knot that seems to have come to tie and gird the decline of Anglo-American hegemony.

Its consequences were even broader than one could, at first glance, imagine, especially in the recognition of the military power of international powers and the economic and institutional foundations of this power, not only giving rise to the effective glimpse of a so-called “multipolar order” but also potentially altering, almost entirely, the background coordinates in which apparently peaceful world management projects moved (the Great reset, for example) and the new grand narratives (although postmodern exceptionalism has a habit of summarily dismissing the idea of ​​a “grand narrative” as valid, except for the recognition of the transcendence of the “truths” that concern it[I]). It is to be expected that both – projects and narratives –, engendered by the hegemonic order in force until then, will also find themselves, sooner or later, emptied.

Some might be tempted to add the current conflict in the Middle East to this picture. But, seeing the latter through an analytical perspective that goes beyond the irreducible singularity of a concrete phenomenon, what it suggests is that both the calculations on conjunctural expectations (the political nullification of Palestine through the Abraham Accords) that drove Hamas' response, as for the strategic expectations common to members of the Axis of Resistance, seem to have taken into account not only the new balance of forces established by the conflict in Ukraine but also the recognition that the “war of the West” has already it is no longer effective in imposing the will of this collective actor, the West. Not by chance, Israel's response came in the classic – if not amplified – form of the “Western war”, which will be discussed later.

Two phases of the war

Regarding the development of the conflict in Ukraine, it is possible to characterize it by the succession (not stagnant, but casually overlapping) of two specific phases. The first was triggered by what could be seen as a response by the Russian government to intimidation from the West, which had been unfolding for 14 years or, more precisely – as witnessed last month, at the Davos Forum, the former Czech president, Václav Klaus – since April 4, 2008, when the NATO summit in Bucharest, led by the United States and the United Kingdom, and against the will of Europe, decided to complete its advance towards the borders of Russia, willing to include Ukraine and Georgia in that military alliance.

Unlike the Baltic countries to the north, the Ukrainian case involved clearly military aggressiveness, which incorporated radical right-wing political forces from Ukraine itself (long financed by CIA programs), especially since the 2014 coup d'état, and which was consummated with the threat, by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in February 2022, of installing NATO nuclear weapons in the country.

At this time, the hitherto poorly tolerated (by Russia) and deliberately unresolved (by the West) violent neo-Nazi repression of the ethnically Russian population of eastern Ukraine then served as casus belli sufficient and well-founded to invoke the (new) UN statutory principle – promoted by the liberal discourse itself – of “responsibility to protect” (once the independence of the two republics of Donbass is recognized) and intervene in the course of the Ukrainian march and, by extension, in the course of the NATO march in Ukraine.

Except for the mainstream commercial media in the West, which has worked relentlessly to silence both neo-Nazism and the internal war in Ukraine (both ineluctable facts), it can be said that Russia has “sold” its position reasonably well. casus belli to the world. Particularly in the Global South – but also a little everywhere –, and associated with the (also ineluctable) image of the neocolonial perversion of the West, this argument served as a wedge to displace the apparent verisimilitude of the massive Anglo-American war propaganda surrounding the “Russian aggression” and, progressively, corrode it as nonsense what is. And so, the West ended up “losing the narrative” in the Global South.

However, when launching its “Special Military Operation” (a legal figure distinct from “war”, and which consequently imposes limitations on the actions of the Russian executive, such as even the dimension of a mobilization of soldiers), the immediate objective of the Russian government was to ensure Ukraine's military neutrality, decisively preventing its incorporation into NATO. Given the circumstances, this neutrality should, in fact, ensure non-hostility. Hence the objectives declared by President Vladimir Putin for his Special Military Operation, to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.

From this perspective, generally little understood by Westerners in general, the Russian government's action was guided by the precedent of Georgia in 2008, with the activation of a limited professional military force (it is estimated that around 90 thousand combatants committed, against an army of 210 thousand fighters), to carry out an operation based on the operational principle of the movement, with in-depth actions, and which ensured a forceful expression of force, capable of dismantling Ukraine's military device, surrounding the capital Kiev and forcing the government to negotiate and assume a position of neutrality.

On the other hand, it was known that NATO's main collateral military objective in the Ukrainian scenario was to nullify the Russian presence in the Black Sea, blocking the Eurasian Belt and Road economic initiative from the west. In this, Crimea was the bastion to be conquered. The Russian military operation then tried to consolidate a buffer zone in the north of the peninsula, connected to the Donbass, and which would become the great thorn in NATO's plans, the suppression of which inspired the last and desperate Ukrainian attempt at a major military operation (the “counteroffensive” ) last year.

Within a month of completion, the Russian operation seemed to have achieved complete success for what it had set out to do, with Ukraine heading to the peace negotiations in Istanbul and establishing a draft agreement, in which the main point was exactly the guarantees around neutrality. At that moment, as is well known today, NATO, myopically observing the forces deployed by Russia on the ground and believing in the recipe for economic sanctions, decided to double down in favor of a maximalist option.

In early April 2022, then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went personally (and by surprise) to Kiev and convinced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky not to sign any agreement with the Russians, promising him that the West would provide all the economic and military aid needed to completely defeat Russia. This was not just one of the West's many misjudgments, it was also the move that fully revealed both its insurmountable arrogance and the true extent of its evil intentions. And, at that moment, the second phase of the war began to emerge.

It did not begin immediately, nor did it take on its own characteristics in the movements that soon followed. The period that comprised the spring and summer of 2022 was a period of logistical investment on both sides, but still marked by Russia's reluctance to expand its contingents on the ground through a broad mobilization of personnel. Russian positions in northeastern Ukraine are still experiencing the consequences of this reluctance. It seems to express the Russian government's hesitations about how to politically conduct the war. Soon the contingencies would become different.

In fact, by making it clear that their intention was, in fact, to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and, most likely, to recolonize the country as in the 90s – alongside the heinous actions that Ukrainian neo-Nazis committed against falling Russian soldiers prisoners –, what NATO achieved was to replace in the conflict, and in terms of symbolic logic, the place of the Russian government with the Russian nation. For the Russians, it would no longer be a question of ensuring Ukraine's neutrality, but of defeating NATO and completely eliminating the Ukrainian danger - in the even more radical sense, that Ukraine itself, as a specific entity, in the form of a State and nation, had become a danger, and not simply because of him, but above all because of the West, as the Russian authorities ended up fully recognizing. As far as this goes, it is no longer even the exclusive discretion of the Russian government, but rather this intricate set of provisions that constitutes the Russian nation. If the government does not respond to it, it runs a serious risk of becoming symbolically illegitimate.[ii]

The war of the West

In June 2022, a article by retired US Army lieutenant colonel Alex Vershinin announced “the return of industrial warfare”. This is a curious proposition, as it is difficult to imagine a war that is not, to some extent, “industrial” (in the sense the capital market sector, equity side and debt side, in all the preparatory and executive phases for the issue and placement of financial instruments; of the term). What this proposition denounces, in reality, is that this second phase of the Ukrainian conflict began to contradict the expectations of what was previously referred to as “the war of the West” – it would also be possible to call it a “post-modern war”. or “neoliberal war”, and list other of its characteristics, such as the emphasis on narrative and technological solutionism.[iii]

Much more recently, in another article for a specialized audience, another military officer, US Army Reserve Brigadier General John Ferrari, who works in the think tanks American Enterprise Institute, predicts, even more expressively, that, since the invasion of Iraq in the early 90s – that is, since the emergence of the unipolar moment –, the North American military, prey to the “winner's illusion”, has learned the wrong lessons about the war.

John Ferrari argues that the mirage that new wars could be won with smaller contingents, equipped with sophisticated ammunition and, therefore, supported by very expensive technology, designed to select targets with precision and destroy the enemy with intense, short, high-speed barrages of fire. impact (the image of a “surgical” war), ended up causing military forces to be dimensioned completely incorrectly and made it impossible to produce weapons on a large scale.

In short, North American operational art – and, by extension, NATO – only has one plan A: winning singular wars, each one at once, guided by the principle of impact, and in a short space of time. If it doesn't work, the only solutions are: double the bet or insist persistently. At first glance, plan A (and the only one) seems to contradict the image of the “forever wars” waged by the United States over the last three decades. But they are “eternal” in their political conception of permanent destructive intervention. And to a certain extent they ended up becoming “eternal” because they were not decided, in military terms, as initially expected. It should also be added that this type of war has never been applied against enemies other than those who are militarily much weaker, and with, in most cases, dubious results.

The apparent North American technological supremacy, especially in the field of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance – exemplarily illustrated in the film enemy of the state, from 1998) had not yet faced two things: electronic capabilities analogous (if not superior) to it (in the case of Russia); and the massive use of highly maneuverable and cheap roving ammunition (drones), an innovation that Iran pioneered, offering its partners in the Middle East, notably Yemen, a new “guerrilla” resource. Both elements place serious limits on the effectiveness of the impact and, therefore, on the ideal of a quick solution to a military conflict.

Consolidated in business-type jargon such as “revolution in military affairs”, supply just-in-time and “effects-based operations”, the doctrine that is related to it made that type of war rely heavily on its technological differential (and, consequently, on its exorbitant cost, only “bearable” by the West), assuming that this differential it would be unparalleled. Thus, it neglected its elementary “social” dimension, namely: the country’s production and mobilization capacity. The Russian war is very different from that.

Seduced by the apparent wonders of that technological difference (equally apparent, because Russia is already superior in this), Ukraine, by subordinating itself to the tutelage of NATO, continues to this day waiting for the messiah of some Wunderwaffe, such as Leopard tanks or F-16 fighters. The enchantment with the quick solution (almost a Hollywood dramaturgical magic) was also what numbed NATO generals in their illusions about the Ukrainian “counteroffensive” in the summer of 2023, for which, according to the spokesperson From the United States Army Europe and Africa Command (USAREUR-AF), Colonel Martin O'Donnell, Ukraine received about 600 types of weapons and equipment, more than any other army in the world has. Of course, if all this is not operationally integrated, it doesn't mean much.

A defeat or a victory is not just about resources; it also has to do with conceptions (which subordinate resources to them).

Impact versus friction

At the end of the first phase of the war in Ukraine, the West found itself faced with what appeared to be two winning alternatives: either Russian capabilities would enter into a process of irremediable and progressive erosion, which would undermine the very legitimacy of its government and lead to a (Western-oriented) process of “regime change”; or the continuation of the war would take place under the same operational framework as the first phase, that is, movement and impact, only now carried out by Ukraine, with the massive support of NATO. Neither of the two alternatives was confirmed.

Despite having invested much of its “narrative”, blindly and obsessively replicated by its large corporate media conglomerate, in the first alternative – which essentially meant replicating (through a manic mechanism) the formula for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan – the West saw its illusions shattered by the Russian logistical and economic response. More than that: now, instead of wearing out, the longer the war is delayed, the more Russia activates devices that make it stronger and undermine the West's logistical and economic capabilities, to the point that the war in Ukraine has become what it became: a geopolitical lever.

Part of this is explained by the emerging situation of the “multipolar order”. However, it does not seem to be wrong to correlate the Russian response with that symbolic substitution that was previously suggested for the dynamics of the case: the “subject place”, initially occupied by the Russian government, is now occupied by the Russian nation. Of course, in objective terms, a correlation allows you to build a hypothesis. It needs to be tested. If confirmed, the curious phenomenon that the failure of the “war of the West” (or post-modern war, or neoliberal war) causes to emerge would be nothing other than something that could be called “the return of the nation”..[iv]

After all, what would the Western recolonization of Russia, in the style of the 1990s, after an eventual regime change, consist of other than in the individualist “emancipation” of Russian consumers (and their equal – if not worse – poverty), while the country’s resources become assets of other owners? Old cultural specters surrounding the fall of the Soviet Union return to haunt (or would it be… rejuvenate?). Outside of individualism, the arrogance of the West finds it very difficult to recognize any other ethics. But this seems to be characteristic not only of capitalism but of the West itself in general – despite this West having produced knowledge such as Anthropology, which is of the very particular order, and which, in its post-modern form, under the aegis of the same Anglo-American hegemony, took on a clearly liberal theoretical aspect and agenda.

As regards the West's second “winning alternative”, Russia's own actions in the first phase of the war seemed to respond (even if ambiguously) in the image of an impact war. Hence, perhaps, NATO's mistaken projection. This projection seemed to be confirmed in the autumn of 2022, with the advances of the new Ukrainian army, heavily equipped by NATO, in the Kharkov region (northeast of Ukraine), carried out against a rarefied Russian military force (as it was from the beginning) that He prudently chose to withdraw, at the cost of handing over strategic junctions such as Kupyanski, Izyum and Krasny Lyman, without leaving a single minefield.

This was the moment that made the Russian government overcome its reluctance and finally call for a partial mobilization of reservists (300 thousand), followed by the sustained recruitment of around 40 thousand volunteers every month – and this second movement is sociologically as or more relevant than the first. In any case, it was also based on that projection that NATO conceived, even without having local air power – therefore, contrary to its own doctrine –, the Ukrainian counteroffensive of the summer of 2023. And it was then that, finally, it consecrated it. if your exhaustion.

Whether with the beginning of an expanded mobilization of reservists, or with the preparation of dense lines of defense, or with the systematic destruction of logistical and productive infrastructure in the Ukrainian rear, what the Russian military force assumes from the autumn of 2022 onwards is the prospect of a prolonged war of attrition (or attrition). This is the general determining characteristic of the second phase of the conflict. And it is dedicated to managing the siege and capture of Bakhmut (which from then on became Artyomovsk), between February and May 2023.

By accepting the game and voluntarily sacrificing 80 thousand fighters in the defense of the city, just as a symbolic value, Ukraine, in turn, assumes that it is the image effects (or marketing) that justify the tactics, in order to now ensure the flow of resources from the West. By – let's say – not feeling very comfortable in a war of attrition, practically all of Ukraine's military initiatives, from then on, aimed to sustain a “narrative” of heroism and daring, however dubious and ineffective they were.

This was what happened in the counteroffensives on Soledar and Kleschiyivka, in the innocuous insistence of attacks on the Zaporozhye front and in the sterile attempt to establish a bridgehead in Krynky, on the left bank of the Dnieper, in the Kherson region. To meet the expectations of foreign tutors, Ukraine needed to continually demonstrate that the operational initiative would be with it, that is, it needed to respond to the expectations of the “war of the West”. Despite the traumatic loss of tens of thousands of its fighters, dead, mutilated or neurotized, the war for the Ukrainian regime now seems to be elevated to a mere virtual status. The conjunction of Western arrogance and Ukrainian foolish servility created the final act of the tragedy.

The Ukrainian regime knows that, maintaining the conditions as they are – dwindling external financing, limited military supplies from those who no longer have an industrial base, a combatant workforce that is increasingly smaller, less qualified and capable, increasingly submerged in alcohol and drugs, with inept and corrupt commanders, faced with increasingly gifted, motivated and agile Russian forces, supplied by an increasingly thriving military industry – it will be impossible to escape the embrace of the great Russian bear.

The regime's strategists are betting everything, then, on terrorist-type actions, aiming to exasperate internal life in Russia and try to cheer up their own fans. This is what they – and especially their advisors from the British MI-6 – seem to understand by “friction”: something closer to mere perversity than to any operational effectiveness. The big bear's hug tends to be even more vigorous. Who knows, maybe one day the big bear's claws will reach London...

And even though the Ukrainian psychological “strategy”, based on a narrative (and on very specific punishment), collapsed under the images of “powerful” Western tanks crackling majestically in the minefields of the steppes, reluctance now seems installed in Bankova,[v] and what was once the general enthusiasm of a country lobotomized by neo-Nazi hatred of Russia begins, progressively but consistently, to encapsulate and separate a government increasingly trapped between internal crisis and histrionics.

It would certainly be an exaggeration to say, for a country in the post-Soviet space, that nation-building precarious, that their war may be ceasing to be “national” (the great dream of neo-Nazis), but it would not be an exaggeration to say that the ultimate effects of friction have now been reached: destroying forces, resources and spirits.

However, as many signs suggest, a possible regime change in Ukraine would only be about trying to change things so that everything remains the same – and keeping NATO on the lookout. It is to be hoped that the Russians will not stop short of categorically dictating their own terms, which could simply include the end of Ukraine and the complete absorption of the country, to the mortal chagrin (and great financial loss) of the BlackRock.

And so we finally arrive at the siege of Avdyevka, in the winter of 2024. Avdyevka was “the fortress that would never fall”, and from where the Ukrainian artillery regularly bombarded – without it ever being reported by the Western press – the civilian population of the capital of the former Donyetsk People's Republic, the city of Donyetsk. Why? For pure fun, which is the term by which neo-Nazis practice their hatred. Surrounded, Avdyevka finally stopped shelling.

Once completed on Saturday, February 17th, the capture of the city enters the annals of war as a tactical masterpiece, to be taught in military schools. In the face of it, the capture of Artyomovsky (Bakhmut) would have been just a rehearsal, in which the Russian forces made some inevitable mistakes, which have now been “cleaned up”, while the Ukrainian forces, having failed to keep the Many troops that tried Bakhmut continued to make the same mistakes as before.

In Avdyevka, instead of slowly “eating at the edges”, as in Artyomovsk, in almost predictable advances, assured only by the strength of the riskily fearless fist of the Wagner formation (which cost a huge number of people), the Russian troops, after having worn down the resistance of the external protection cordon, they promoted unexpected infiltrations, which oscillated in various directions, bypassing and surrounding large oporniks (fortified points), reaching spaces less garrisoned by the movement of troops sent to reinforce others, in short, putting the Ukrainians into an infernal dance that left them truly bewildered, until it cut the city in two. At that moment – ​​and only at that moment – ​​the Russian forces exercised their complete air superiority and applied a devastating blow to the Ukrainian positions, causing the contingents occupying them to chaotically retreat into flight.

Here, in particular, the Russians behaved like a Cuban boxer walking all over the ring while delivering sharp and blunt blows, to the point that the 3rd Ukrainian Assault Brigade, so-called elite, formed by the “super-motivated” neo-Nazi Azov contingent, having arrived in Avdyevka to “save” the city and seeing one and a half battalions (600 fighters) decimated in four days, he decides to disregard the orders received and flees the city.

It was, on the part of the Russians, a demonstration of high tactical performance, which today, in the world, probably no army other than the Russian is capable of achieving. If Artyomovsk was a victory of ferocity and determination, Avdyevka was, first of all, a victory of cunning. And if the Russians did this with the most powerful Ukrainian fortress in the Donbass, it is to be expected what is to come (even because there are no more major fortresses after Avdyevka).

This empirical case suggests that a clear distinction like the one insinuated, between impact and friction, will always be nuanced by the scale one takes to consider the facts on the ground. No war is entirely about impact (however much friction is minimized – and this would explain the American quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan) and no war can be entirely about attrition. Between both categories there appears to be a causal relationship of opportunity: friction to produce impact and impact to produce friction. The latter case appears to have characterized Russian actions in the first phase of the war; the previous, Russian actions in the second phase. Any operational art designed to deal with just one of the poles (impact or friction) seems to be destined to fail.

Epilogue?

Avdyevka is not an isolated case. It's just exemplary. From autumn 2023, along the entire front, the operational initiative definitively passed to the Russian side. This is the moment when the very conception of war in the West is called into question: a war that can no longer be won on its terms – neither in the contingencies in which it finds itself nor through direct intervention by NATO, which could produce even greater losses, including the disintegration of NATO itself. Therefore, whether or not Russia promotes another major offensive will not be something that Ukraine and NATO can respond to.

After Avdyevka, Novomikhaylovka, further south, is about to fall. If both fall, it will be Krasnagorovka's turn. Falling Krasnagorovka, the Konstantinovka logistical junction will be the next stone of this domino, paving the way to Pokrovsk. When this falls, Ugledar, in the extreme south, loses its main supply line and the entire eastern-southern defense collapses. Analogous connection can be made just to the north, to Ivanovska and Bagdanovka, in the Artyomovsk region, after which Chasof Yar will fall. Falling Chasof Yar and Konstantinovka, the next domino is Kramatorsk. Further north, the situation is the same for Belogorovka and Sieversk. And in the far north the situation is identical for Sinkovka and Kupyansk. One city announces the fall of the next, increasingly less fortified, drawing a progressive collapse of all lines of defense.

In the extreme northeast, almost on the border with Russia, the Ukrainian authorities are no longer able to evacuate the civilian population, who are now waiting for the arrival of the Russians. At the other end of the country, in the historic city of Odessa, local underground groups begin attacking Ukrainian neo-Nazi leaders with bombs. Upon liberating Advyevka, the Russians discovered to their astonishment that there were still civilian occupants in the city, hiding in the cellars. Resurrecting references from World War II, they called the Ukrainian soldiers who defended the city “Germans” and the Russians who liberated them “ours.”

After weeks of denial, President Volodymyr Zelensky finally removed the general commander of Ukrainian forces, the popular General Valery Zaluzhny, his most threatening political shadow, appointing in his place the Butcher of Donbass, General Alexander Syrsky, who obeys any order and does not hesitates to send soldiers to their certain death in profusion, which is also known as “General 200” (a numerical code that, since the Soviet operation in Afghanistan, has been used to indicate dead combatants).

A fierce game of dispute and maintenance of power is underway at the top of the regime. How long will the war last? It depends on how far the Russians want to go. For the first time, the Russian military authorities announced an expectation for the victory of their military operation: if current conditions persist, September this year will be the concluding month.

President Volodymyr Zelensky's last resort is to flee the country. His assets abroad are extensive. Even before the Russian operation, since 2012, his personal association with Ukrainian Jewish neo-Nazi oligarch Igor Kolomoisky earned him a financial stake of around $40 million in offshore Film Heritage (Belize), Davegra (Cyprus) and Maltex (British Virgin Islands), all front companies for money laundering, as later revealed pandora papers.

During the war, his fortune only grew. In addition to the $20 million personal property in Vero Beach, Florida, and the luxurious properties owned by the family and their orange companies in London (including Victorian and Edwardian mansions), Israel, Cyprus and Italy, his patrimonial figurehead and old friend Sergei Shefir, together with his brother Boris, recently bought two yachts worth 75 million dollars and a 600 square meter apartment, worth 18 million dollars, in the Bvlgari Marina residential complex, on the “island of billionaires” (Jumerah Bay Island), in Dubai. Will Volodymyr Zelensky be able to escape the war to paradise? This is not the fate already experienced by several hundred thousand Ukrainians.

*Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel He is a professor of anthropology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).

Notes


[I] Some analysts outsiders have highlighted the logical interconnections between ideology Woke, the platform of “stakeholder capitalism” (stakeholder capitalism) and the “climate agenda”. These are probably the three “great” narratives of contemporary times, which converge into the Worldview of ultimate liberalism. The second narrative, from stakeholder capitalism, is certainly the least visible, but it is the one that guides the agenda of the World Economic Forum in Davos. As for the last one, despite the immediate connection it may imply, it is only collaterally linked to the alarm generated by the scientific consensus around the climate crisis (a consensus that, for it, has only an instrumental function). Thus, the “climate agenda” concerns, rather, a certain perspective of political and social management of this crisis, which emphasizes new circuits of consumption (but still based on consumption, which advances towards the capitalist exploration of new frontiers, such as those of “new energy sources”), as well as the financialization of its management variables (carbon credits and ESG funds, for example), the outsourcing of its initiatives (in the hands of the “third sector”), with the public sphere ( if convenient) triggered only by residual induction, and, finally, the massification of the discursive artifice of greenwashing. After all, an “ecological” agenda that cuts down a forest to put a wind farm in its place, in the name of “green energy”.

[ii] So, it makes perfect sense to recent observation from businessman Elon Musk that another president in Russia, other than Vladimir Putin, could have a much tougher stance towards the West. To do this, just check the current manifestations of the entourage government of Putin himself, especially former Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, the secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patruchev, and the president of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Sergey Karaganov.

[iii] In the year 2000, the infamous RAND Corporation, “the most influential think tanks of the Deep State” North American, in one of his doctrinal manuals, read military power around the world in the irremediable context of a “post-industrial era”. This makes it legitimate to ask these American “thinkers” not only what would have, in the end, made something like “the return of industrial warfare” possible, but also what the hell “post-industrial” actually was. ”.

[iv] One of the most striking features of Russia's management of this new “industrial war” is that the country appears to have inherited from the Soviet socialist model a conception of which the liberal West is not (or is no longer) capable: macro-level planning, which that is, a long-term, public, operational management of the nation's strategic businesses, which goes beyond private agents, encompassing the social infrastructure as a whole. In this sense, Russia would express a reinvigoration of the national paradigm, which had been systematically depreciated by liberal globalization.

[v] Bankova is the street in Kiev where the Ukrainian presidential office and residence are located. It is the equivalent, for Brazil, of referring to the Planalto or, for Russia, the Kremlin.


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