I’m surprised both of the size of the operation and the type of operation. While I did expect standoff destruction of the nazi units and considered the possibility of standoff destruction of Ukrainian military assets I did not expect to see troops on the ground other than a few Spetsnaz. The operation is much, much more than I expected. Putin & Co surprised me too.
Had I been at home I would have read Putin’s speech earlier and understood sooner. What he is talking about is what the Soviet Union tried to do from 1933 onwards: namely to stop Hitler before he got started. This time Russia is able to do it by itself. In other words, Putin feels that he is making a pre-emptive attack to stop June 1941. This is very serious indeed and indicates that the Russians are going to keep going until they feel that they can safely stop.
I believe that I am starting to see the outline of what they’re trying to do. Bear in mind that the aims to de-militarize and to de-nazify are rather large. I believe Putin and Company have decided to do them thoroughly and that is the reason for the troops on the ground.
At the large end, the grand strategy, is the destruction of NATO and the so-called New World Order. Scott Ritter has explained this in his piece. The “new” new world order will be that as described in the joint Chinese-Russian statement I have discussed elsewhere.
It will be obvious that NATO is useless and its friendship worthless. In fact, NATO/Western support is dangerous because it makes you think you have something when you actually have nothing. In a week it will be clear to all who can think that Washington and its minions cared nothing for Ukrainians – they were a sharp stick to poke the Bear with. Many will notice.
At the next level down, the strategy, the aim is to make the Kiev government an offer it can’t refuse. Essentially the demand will be, as I believe Lavrov has outlined, a Ukraine that is neutral, the nazis removed from power, and with a serious degree of autonomy given to its many minorities. Failing that, I think we will see Novorossiya as an independent force and Ukraine subjected to periodic winnowings. On a more positive note, this would allow Zelinsky to become the president he was actually elected to be. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence states that it should be a neutral country. The desire to get into NATO is the result of Nuland’s 5 billion dollars of “democracy assistance”.
Moving down to the operational level, I believe Mariupol is going to become very important. First it appears to be the main nest of Azov which is the most powerful nazi grouping. Second, with Russian forces coming from the east, LDPR forces coming from the west and Russian forces coming in the rear, there is the opportunity to form a cauldron. The forces trapped inside the cauldron (котёл) will be running short of supplies, have no air cover and have their command-and-control seriously degraded; they can be left to come to their senses and take the offer of putting down their weapons and going home.
Putin in his most recent statement has made it clear that he regards the Ukrainians as the victims of a coup and therefore innocent of the crimes. One would expect Russian intelligence to have a very good appreciation of who supports them and who does not.
Being in a hotel, I have the opportunity to waste my time watching CNN. I am truly fascinated by how completely clueless the so-called experts, generals, politicians, that they have on are about this. They have no understanding of the Russian motives, they have no conception of what is actually going on, and they can’t see what is in front of their faces. My personal favourite is the US senator that says Russia is running out of food because it’s a communist country and therefore needs to conquer more agricultural land. This is a man whose office is bigger than your house, has a staff of dozens with a huge budget and that’s what he thinks is going on.
The new new world order was born two days ago.