War – for a long time

by Evgeny Norin from the Telegram “Readovka” channel and translated for the Saker Blog

War is too serious a matter to be approached with complacent illusions. Nevertheless, in Russia, it seems, many are still quite seriously convinced that the ongoing operation in Ukraine is just another local conflict that can be quickly ended in the style of the Five-Day War in Georgia, after which everything will be, if not like in 2013 exactly like in 2019.

Will not. The good old world will not be around for a long time.

Russia is at war, at war with a motivated, determined adversary; an adversary who does not have any moral restrictions and is not inclined to compromise. Ukraine has not been pumped up with propaganda, instructors, and now – also with weapons – for eight years, so that it can now easily seize and crumble. At first, the strength of the enemy’s resistance was underestimated, but it’s time to end with complacency. We will have to switch to a war footing now, otherwise the transition will turn into a shock for the whole society, and will happen unexpectedly and later than necessary.

Yes, the very beginning of the war, and its development was completely unexpected for everyone. It seemed to many that now the main thing is to lie low and wait it out. And there the sanctions will be curtailed, Insider will be unblocked, and Spotify will return.

Not curtailed, not unlocked, not returned.

War is for a long time. In February, many were mistaken, believing that a short spectacular operation would come out. Unfortunately, this is not so: the fight will be long, the fight will be difficult. Moreover, the enemy, unlike us, understood this immediately, the enemy’s reality is awake and alive with a bomb on the door, and this is very conducive to understanding some things. And the enemy is now wildly angry and set to war. Yes, as personnel units are knocked out, companies of the defense and mobilized are put on the front – on equipment sent by the good NATO with weapons sent from there. But the enemy has a lot of people. They tirelessly form new brigades to replace the broken ones. Soon a general battle will begin in the Donbass, but the enemy’s troops will not end – more and more brigades are coming from the west. And they just have to be smashed on the battlefield.

For us, all this means that we will have to put aside complacency, gain stamina and continue to act until the diplomats agree to some new reality. And they will agree only after they lose all desire to fight on the other side. Wars don’t usually end with compromise, unfortunately; they end when one of the parties can no longer fight. Yes, it simply means that the enemy’s armed forces will have to be ground down and his cities occupied. Rough, not very humane, but what is the alternative? It was necessary to walk with daisies before the war, and since the end of 2013, the level of violence has only grown; no one wants to bomb Kharkov, but now calls for peace on any terms are calls for Rostov to start receiving bombs instead of Kharkov. If anyone forgot or did not understand, the enemy (and this is by no means only Ukraine) is completely in no mood to bow and go to the corners. The enemy really wants to win the war on the battlefield. And until he is deprived of this illusion, the war will not end.

This also means that Russia will have to make simply titanic efforts to establish the production of everything that we have either never done, or have done before, but stopped. Some of the critical components for the industry can be bought in China, but not all; so localizing production to the maximum is now a super task.

By the way, the attitude towards the people of the nation will also have to be reconsidered. We do not have such crowds of people in general and specialists in particular to scatter them around. Nowhere – not on the battlefield, not in factories, not in the offices of managers. In order to win, Russia will have to abandon the vicious practice of treating people – including rare specialists – as an unfortunate necessity in production processes, in war and in the economy. There aren’t enough of us to think like that. Our forces cannot be called innumerable, and, therefore, we need to use what we have as rationally as possible. Money, people, resources.

This is all very unpleasant to say. All this means the need for exertion of strength, blood and sweat. But war is not a place where you can throw your cards on the table and go home, because now they will come home in our footsteps. Whether it was possible to avoid this war, what is its historical context – all this is interesting.


For historians after the war. Now, of course, no one interferes with discussing such things, it can be very entertaining, but during the operation, discussing the everyday habits of both the operated and the surgeon is the last thing that will bring real benefits. What matters now are those issues that will allow our country to get out of the current situation with victory and a minimum of losses. Consolidation of society, restructuring of industry, strengthening of the army. Helping others in the broadest sense. In the end, this war is a great chance for each of us personally to become better. We did not choose to live in historical times, history overtook us by itself – and it is better to go through it with dignity.

The Russian state, Russian society, the propaganda machine – everything seems to be running out of the last days of the holidays. The problem is that in reality we no longer have holidays, we already have an exam. The most difficult and terrible, on the country’s ability to cope with the difficulties and troubles of war. No one is to blame for being in the war. But the war has begun, and we need to be ready for it, to be united like never before, we need to get rid of illusions and stop playing spillikins.

This war is for a long time.

We will win.


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