Status analysis

Things in Ukraine are developing more-less according to my expectations, albeit more slowly. In essence, Putin wanted to get the elections behind him, so that he has a clear mandate and the political issues don’t interfere with the military matters. The army also wanted to wait until the rasputica ended, so that the tanks can move across the ground without sinking into the mud. Until then, they basically just increased pressure on the front line, grinding the Ukrainians down, so that they’ll have less men and equipment to fight with once the true offensive starts. Now that those conditions have been satisfied, they are apparently mopping things up, because prolonging this mess serves no useful purpose at this point. The Russian army is very successfully advancing toward Kharkov from the north, and at the same time crushing the fortifications at Chasov Yar and other places. The Ukrainians usually deal with such things by moving the units from one place to another, but now this isn’t going to work since the Russians are applying pressure at several places at once, and all of them are already crumbling, so there are really no more options for Ukraine. They lost too many soldiers by throwing them into meat grinders, defending indefensible spots, essentially repeating Hitler’s mistakes at Stalingrad that cost him the war. Those can now no longer be replaced with fresh units and the entire structure is crumbling. Also, the West doesn’t have the economic and industrial power that could match Russia’s, they depleted their weapons stockpiles and this phase of the war is done.

So, what can NATO do next? There are several options. The first is to concede that this war is lost and Russia won. This option is unlikely, but not impossible. The second option is to try to win this by committing NATO troops to the fight. This is also very unlikely, simply because they don’t have enough men and equipment to defend the current front line, let alone push back the Russians. The third option is what I anticipated before, and I still think it’s most likely – they will enter Ukraine and try to defend certain strategic points they wish to keep at all cost, such as Odessa, and thus, at least in their minds, deter the Russians from trying to take those areas. However, the Russians already told them that such an attempt will initiate a tactical nuclear response, and not in Ukraine, but at the targets in the offending countries. This means that, far from such an attempt deterring the Russians from advancing, it will be seen as a direct attack on Russia and will trigger extreme escalation.

The Russian threats have been serious enough to have triggered immediate re-considerations in the West, and this process of figuring out what to do next is ongoing. The Russian posture reveals that they are seriously done with this shit, and whoever wants to fuck around, will immediately find out. This is in stark contrast with their normal diplomatic and conciliatory approach, which apparently took a course until the Russian pool of good will was exhausted, and now they are taking off the gloves with the West.

Unfortunately, the idiots that run the West will eventually conclude that “Putin is bluffing”, because that follows from the kind of dogmatic and predictable thinking that gets stupid and incompetent arselickers promoted. “Putin is bluffing, he’s a dictator, Russia is weak, we need to show strength” and other inane drivel will eventually inform the decision, leading to a Russian response that will be nastier than anything we’ve ever seen, because the Russians have seen that the restrained approach isn’t working with those idiots, because they interpret restraint as weakness and proceed to escalate.

As for the rest of the world, meaning primarily China, this thing took long enough to show without any doubt that nothing can be done with the West peacefully, and a strong military solution remains as the only option, and they will unconditionally back Russia now.

Fear of American economic retaliation is still strong, but since Russia managed to do just fine, China will eventually come to terms with the fact that it will just have to lose all the money it has in US bonds and dollars, because America has already threatened them with consequences if they continue with their gold-pumping system. China is now reconsidering their approach, but I don’t expect it to take long before they make their decision. Essentially, they will decide that they have to pull the band-aid off, absorb the loss and be done with it.