The world is headed for war and has been headed that way for quite a while now. Several times, just at the brink, the West decided to pull back, but each time it did that its ruling elites felt two things: first, the felt even more hatred for Russia for forcing them to back down and, second, they interpreted the fact that no shooting war happened (yet) as the evidence, at least in their minds, that standing on the brink of war is a pretty safe exercise. And yet, a major shooting war is quite possible in any of the following locations, or even in several simultaneously: (in no specific order)
- US-China war over Taiwan
- AngloZionist attack on Iran
- A war involving the 3B+PU against Belarus
- A war between the Ukraine and the LDNR+Russia
- A NATO-Russian war in the Black Sea region
- A resumption of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan
As we can see, all of these potential wars could potentially involve Russia, either directly (3,4,5) or indirectly (1,2,6).
Today, I want to look at Russian options in the direct involvement cluster of wars 3, 4 and 5.
The first thing which I think is important to note here is that while the Ukraine has no prospects of becoming a NATO member country, some NATO member states have already taken the following steps to turn the Ukraine into a de facto NATO protectorate:
- Full and unconditional political support for the Nazi regime in Kiev and any of its actions
- Minimal economic support, just enough to keep the Nazis in power
- Minimal delivery of weapons for the Ukronazi forces
- Deployment of small NATO contingents inside the Ukraine
- Lot’s of Kabuki theater about “we will stand with you forever and no matter what“
I have already discussed the 5th point here, so I won’t repeat it all here. The important point in the list above in #4, the deployment of a small force of UK, Swedish, French, US and other NATO units into the Ukraine. Such small forward deployed forces are referred to “tripwire forces” whose mission is to heroically die thereby triggering an automatic (at least in theory) involvement of their country of origin into the war.
Before going any further, I think I want to share with you a list of axiomatic facts:
- Russia cannot be defeated militarily by any combination of forces. For the first time in centuries, Russia is not playing “catching up” with her western foes, but is actually ahead with both her conventional and her nuclear forces. The Russian advantage is especially striking in her conventional strategic deterrence capabilities.
- The West, whose leaders are quite aware of this fact, does not want an open shooting war with Russia.
- The 3B+PU block wants a war at all costs, both for internal and for external political reasons.
- In a war against the Ukraine, Russia will have several counter-strike options in which she would not need to drive even a single tank across the border
The first three are rather uncontroversial, so let’s look at the 4th point a little closer. Let’s begin by looking at Russian counter-attack options against the Ukraine. Roughly summarized, here are what I see as the main possible options for a Russian counter-attack against the Ukraine:
- Protecting the LDNR in its current borders (line of contact) by a combination of a no-fly zone, missile strikes against Ukie C3I, the use of EW to disorganize the Ukie forces and very targeted strikes (from inside Russia) against key HQs, ammo/POL dumps, etc.
- Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
- Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor towards the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area.
- Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor in the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area and then the liberation of the Ukainian coast along the Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa axis.
- The liberation of all the lands east left bank of the Dniepr river (including the cities of Kharkov, Poltava, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie and others).
- The liberation of the entire Ukraine
In purely military terms, these are all doable options. But looking at this issue from a purely military point of view is highly misleading. But first, about the NATO tripwire force.
US/NATO commanders are not too bright, but they are smart enough to understand that in case of a Russian counter attack these forces would be wiped out, thereby potentially involving all of NATO in what could potentially be a huge, continental war. That is not what they want.
So the real purpose of this tripwire forces would be to create a powerful enough anti-Russian hysteria to transform the (currently disorganized and deeply dysfunctional) West into a single, united, anti-Russian block. In other words, this tripwire force presents a political challenge to the Kremlin, not a military one. This being said, we need to look a a number of absolutely crucial non-military factors.
- Whatever territory Russia liberates from the Nazi forces she will have to rebuilt economically, protect militarily and reorganize politically. The more territory Russia liberates, the most acute these pressures will become.
- It has been 30 years already since the Ukraine set a course on becoming an anti-Russia, and there is now an entire generation of thoroughly brainwashed Ukrainians who really believe in what the Ukronazi media and “democracy” or “civil society” promoting propaganda outlets have been telling them. The fact that many of them speak better Russian than Ukrainian does not change fact that in the least. While the Ukies cannot stop the Russian military, they sure can organize and sustain an anti-Russian insurgency which Russia would have to suppress.
- Economically, the Ukraine is a black hole: you can throw whatever you want at it, in any amounts, and everything will simply disappear. The notion of “economic aid to the Ukraine” is simply laughable.
- The Ukraine is an artificial entity which never was, and ever will be, viable, at least not in her current borders.
For these reasons I submit that it would be extremely dangerous for Russia to bite-off more than she can chew. As the best (by far) political analyst of the Ukraine, Rostislav Ishchenko, said in an interview last week: “Putin cannot save the Ukraine, but he sure can ruin Russia [if he tries]” – and I totally concur with him.
Whatever legal pretense can be wrapped around a Russian liberation of the Ukraine, the reality is that whatever land Russia does liberate, she will then own and have to administer.
Why would Russia want to reimpose law and order inside a black hole?
Then there is this: while historically Ukrainian are nothing but “Russians under Polish occupation”, the past 30 years have created a new, very different nation. In fact, I submit that we have witnessed a true ethnogenesis, the birth of a new nation whose very identity is russophobic at its core. Yes, they speak Russian better than Ukrainian, but speaking the language of your enemy did not prevent the IRA, ETA or the Ustashe from hating that enemy and fighting him for decades. In many ways, the modern Ukrainians are not only are non-Russians, they are anti-Russians par excellence: I think of them as Poles, with vyshivankas instead of feathers.
Crimea was solidly pro-Russian in all its history. The Donbass was initially rather happy to form part of the Ukraine, even in the early post-Maidan period when protests were organized under Ukrainian flags. Those flags were later traded for LDNR/Russian flags, but only after Kiev launched a military operation against the Donbass. And the further you go west, the clearer this distinction is. As one LDNR commander once put it, “the further west we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more we are seeing as occupiers“.
The crucial point here is this: it does not matter what you, or I, or anybody else thinks about the constituent parts of the new Ukie national identity, we can laugh about it all we want, but as long as they take it seriously, and enough of them do, then this is a reality we cannot simply overlook or wish away.
The other point which is often overlooked is this: the Ukronazi Banderastan has already mostly collapsed. Yes, in central Kiev things look more or less normal, but all the reports from the rest of the country point to the same reality: the Ukraine is already a failed state, totally de-industrialized, where chaos, poverty, crime and corruption are total. The same is becoming true even for Kiev suburbs.
When I observe at how slow the Russian efforts to reorganize (really, fix) Crimea are, by no fault of the Russians, by the way, I recoil in horror at the thought of what it would take for Russia to re-civilize and re-develop ANY liberated part of the Ukraine.
Russia is typically compared to a bear, and that is a very good metaphor on many levels. But in the case of the Ukraine, I see Russia like a snake and the Ukraine like a hog: the snake can easily kill that hog (by venom or by constriction), but that snake cannot absorb that dead hog, it is just too big for it.
But here is the single most important fact about this entire situation: the Ukie Banderastan is dying, most of its body is already necrotic, so there is absolutely no need for the Russian snake to do anything about it at all (other than retreating into a corner ready to strike, in a coiled position, and loudly hiss: “attack me and you are dead!“. Putin already said that much.
Still, what if? What if the Nazis, egged on by their “democratic” patrons, do launch an attack? At that point Russia will have no other option but to strike, using her standoff weapons (missiles, artillery, long range cruise missiles, etc.). Since we can safely assume that the Russians have been rehearsing exactly such a counter-strike we can expect it to be swift and devastating. Targets list will include: advancing Ukie forces, airbases and any aircraft (manned or not) taking off, any Ukie boat approaching the area of operations, communication nodes, supply dumps, roads, bridges, fortified positions, etc. That is a lot of targets to be hit at once, but hitting them at once is also the safest and most effective method to quickly achieve the immediate goal of stopping any possible Ukie advance on the LDNR. This initial phase would last under 24 hours.
[Sidebar: modern warfare is not WWII, you won’t see thousands of tanks and a clear frontline but, rather, you will see strikes throughout the strategic depth of the enemy side, intense maneuver by fire and the use of battalion tactical groups]
Should that happen, it is likely that NATO forces would move into the western Ukraine, not to “protect” it from a Russian attack which will never come, but to break off as much of the Ukraine as possible and take it under control. The pretext for such a NATO move would be the destruction (partial or full) of the tripwire force. NATO might also declare its own no-fly zone over the western Ukraine, which the Russians will have no need to challenge. Finally, the West will happily unite against Russia, and sever all economic, diplomatic and other ties to “isolate and punish Russia”. Let’s not kid ourselves, this would hurt the Russian economy, but not in a manner sufficient to break the Russian will.
Then will come the big question: how far should Russia go?
I am confident that this has already been decided, and I am equally confident that Russia will not follow the options 4, 5 and 6 above. Option 1 is a given, we can take that to the bank (unless the LDNR forces alone are enough to stop a Ukie attack). Which leaves options 2 and 3 as “possibles”.
So here I want to suggest another option, what I would call the “southern route”: while the line of contact between the LDNR and Banderastan can be pushed somewhat further west, I do not think that Russian forces shuold liberate any of major cities in the central Ukraine (Kharkov, Poltava, Dneipropetrivsk, Zaporozhie, ). Instead, I think that they ought to envelop these forces by a move along the coast as far as all of Crimea (up to Perekop) and maybe even up to, but not into, the city of Kherson. Of course, in order to achieve this, it would be necessary to bring a large enough force into the Voronezh-Kursk-Belgorod triangle to force the Ukrainians to allocate forces to their northeast. The Russian Black Sea Fleet could also conduct operations all along the Ukrainian coast, including near Nikolaev-Odessa to force the Ukies to allocate forces to coastal defenses, thereby easing the load on the Russian forces moving towards Kherson.
[Sidebar: let’s be clear here, the LDNR forces along cannot conduct such a deep operation without risking envelopment and destruction. That operation can only be executed at a relatively low cost by the Russian armed forces, including the Black Sea Fleet]
In such a scenario, Belarus could turn into a “silent threat from the north” which would further forces the Ukies to allocate forces to their northern borders, making the latter feel like they are being enveloped in strategic pincers.
What about Odessa?
Odessa is a unique city in many ways, and is population is generally pro-Russian. It is also a city which would have a tremendous economic potential if managed by sane people. However, Odessa is also a symbolic city for the Nazis, and they have placed a great deal of effort into controlling it. Thus, Odessa is one of the few cities in the Nazi occupied Ukraine which could rise up against their occupier, especially while the Russian forces move along the coast towards it. Here is where Russia could, and should, get involved, but not by taking the city WWII style, but by backing and supporting pro-Russian organizations in Odessa (primarily by using her special forces and, when needed, the firepower of the Black Sea Fleet).
What would the outcome of such a war look like?
One the down side, the West would unite in its traditional hatred for Russia, and economically Russia would hurt. That is not irrelevant but, I submit, this scenario is already in the making and even if Russia does absolutely nothing. Hence, this inevitable reality ought to be accepted by Russia as a condition sine qua non for her survival as a sovereign nation.
In military terms, the Poles and their Anglo masters would probably “protectively liberate” the western Ukraine (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk). So what? Let them! There is no penalty for Russia from this. Besides, the hardcore Ukronazis will then have to deal with their former Polish masters now fully back in control – let them fully “enjoy” each other :-)
What about the rump Banderastan (we are talking about the central Ukraine here)?? It would end up being in even a worse shape than it is today, but Russia would not have to pay the bills for this mess. Sooner or later, an insurrection or civil war would take place, which would pit one brand of Ukies against another, and should either one of them turn towards Russia or the liberated parts of the Ukraine, Russia could simply use her standoff weapons to quickly discourage any such attempts.
So how close are we to war?
Short answer: very. Just listen to this recent press conference by Lavrov. And its not only Lavrov, a lot of savvy political commentators and analysts in Russia are basically saying that the issue is not “if” but “when” and, therefore, “how”. I think that the straw that broke the Russia’s patience’s camel back is the suicidal way in which the real (historical) Europeans have allowed the 3B+PU to set the agenda for the UE and NATO. Oh sure, if NS2 goes ahead, as it still probably will, the Russians will be happy to sell energy to Europe. But in terms of agency, the only power Russia is willing to talk to is the United States, as witnessed by the recent visits of Nuland and Burns to Moscow. Let’s make one thing very very clear here:
Russia does not want war. In fact, Russia will do everything in her power to avoid a war. If a war cannot be avoided, Russia will delay the onset of that war as far into the future as possible. And if that means talking to folks like Nuland or Burns, then that is something the Russians will gladly do. And they are absolutely right in that stance (not talking to the enemy is a western mental disorder, not a Russian one).
As I have been saying for almost 2 years now, the Empire is already dead. The USA as we knew them died on January 6th. But the post Jan 6th USA still exists and, unlike the Europeans, the US ruling classes still have agency. Just look at clowns like Stoltenberg, Borrell, Morawiecki or Maas: these are all petty bureaucrats, office plankton of you wish, which might have the skills to run a car rental agency, maybe a motel, but not real leaders that anybody in the Kremlin will take seriously. You can hate Nuland or Burns all you want, but these are serious, dangerous folks, and that is why Russia is willing talk to them, especially when the request for such negotiations have been made by the US side (the Russians can’t really talk to clowns like Biden or Austin, which are just PR figures).
One thing needs mentioning here: the people of the rump-Banderastan and what will happen to them.
Actually, I think that the Ukraine is totally and terminally unsalvageable and the only good plan for anybody still living there is to do what millions of Ukrainians have already done: pack and leave. Since most of the unskilled Ukrainian labor force lived in the western regions of the Ukraine, they will naturally prefer moving to the EU to work as cabbies, plumbers, maids and prostitutes. Likewise, since most of the skilled Ukrainian work force comes from the southern and the eastern Ukraine, they will either be content with being liberated by Russia or they will move to Russia to work as engineers, medical doctors, IT specialists or even construction workers. Russia has a need for such culturally close and qualified work force and getting jobs (and passports) for them will be a no brainer for the Kremlin. True, what will be left of this post-Banderastan Ukraine won’t be a pretty sight: a poor, corrupt, country whose people will struggle to survive with lots of silly political ideas floated around. But that won’t be Russia’s problem anyway while the main threat to Russia, a united Banderastan becoming a NATO training polygon right across the Russian border, will simply evaporate, dying on its own toxic emissions. And if more Ukrainians want to move to Russia (or the free Ukraine), then the LDNR and Russian authorities will be able to decide on a case by case “do we wants these folks here or not?“. Those Ukrainians who have remain real Ukrainians will be welcome in Russia while the Ukronazis will be denied entry and arrested if they still try.
Addendum: the two powers with imperial phantom pains and dreams of war
I am, of course, talking about the UK and Poland, two minor actors who compensate for their very limited actual abilities with a never-ending flow of vociferous declarations. Mostly, they are just “playing empire”. Both of these countries know exactly that they once were real empires and why they are pretty irrelevant today – they blame much of their own decay on Russia and hence their dream is to see Russia, if not defeated, then at least given a bloody nose. And, of course, standing on the shoulders of the USA, both of these countries think of themselves as giants: they sure act the part very great gravitas and pomp.
Finally, their leadership is degenerate enough (inferiority complex compensated by a narcissism run amok) to lack even the basic common sense of wondering whether poking the Russia bear is a good idea or not. More than any other NATO members, these yapping countries need a good smackdown to bring them back to reality. Whether this smackdown will come in the form of some incident in the Ukraine or whether that will happen elsewhere is impossible to predict, but one thing is sure: the UK and Poland are (yet again!) the two countries which want, I would even say, need, a war with Russia more than anybody else (example one, example two). I find it therefore rather likely that, sooner or later, Russia will have to either sink a UK/Polish ship or shoot down a/several UK/Polish aircraft which will show to the world, including the Brits and the Poles, that neither the US, nor NATO nor anybody else is seriously going to go to war with Russia over the Empire’s underlings. Yes, there will be tensions, possibly even local clashes, and tons and tons of threatening verbiage, but nobody wants to die for these two hyenas of Europe (Churchill forgot to mention one), and nobody ever will.
Conclusion: war on the horizon
Right now, we are already deep inside a pre-war period and, like a person skating on thin ice, we wonder if the ice will break and, if it does, where that will happen. Simply put, the Russians have two options:
- A verbal push back
- A physical push back
They have been trying the former as best they can to do the first for at least 7 years if not more. Putin did trade space for time, and that was the correct decision considering the state of the Russian armed forces before, roughly, 2018. Trump’s election was also God-sent for Russia because while Orange Man did threaten the planet left and right, he did not start a full-scale war against Russia (or, for that matter, Iran, China, Cuba, Iran and the DPRK). By late 2021, however, Russia has retreated as far as she could. The good news now is that Russia has the most modern and capable military on the planet, while the West is very busy committing political, cultural and economic suicide.
According to US analysts, by 2025 the USA won’t be able to win a war against China. Frankly, I think that this ship has already sailed a long time ago, but that semi-admission is a desperate attempt to create the political climate to circle the wagons before China officially becomes the second nation the USA cannot defeat, the first one being, obviously, Russia (I would even include Iran and the DPRK is that list). Hence all the current Anglo posturing in the Black Sea (which is even far more dangerous for US/NATO ships than the China Seas) is just that: posturing. The main risk here is that I am not at all convinced by the notion that “Biden” can rein in the Brits or the Poles, especially since the latter are both NATO members who would sincerely expect NATO to protect them (they should ask Erdogan about that). But, of course, there really is no such thing as “NATO”: all there is the US and its vassal states in Europe. Should the two wannabe empires trigger a real, shooting war, all it would take is a single Russian conventional missile strike somewhere deep inside the continental USA (even in a desert location) to convince the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA “get with the program” and seek a negotiated solution, leaving the Brits and the Poles utterly disgusted and looking foolish. I don’t think anything else can bring those two countries back to a sense of reality.
So yes, the war is coming, and the only thing which can prevent it would be some kind of deal between Russia and the USA. Will that happen? Alas, I don’t see any US President making such a deal, since however is in power is accused by the other party of “weakness”, “being a Russian asset” and all the rest of the flagwaving claptrap coming out of all the US politicians, especially in Congress. One possibly mitigating factor is that the US politicians are also dead set on confrontation with China, including during the upcoming Olympic games, and if these tensions continue to escalate, then the US will want Russia to at least not represent a direct threat to US interests in Europe and the Pacific. So maybe Putin and Xi can play this one together, making sure that with each passing day Uncle Shmuel gets even weaker while Russia and China get even stronger. Maybe that strategy could avoid a war, at least a big one. But when listen to the verbiage coming out of the UK+3B+PU, I have very little hope that the nutcases in Europe can be talked down from the edge of the precipice.