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War against Ukraine, the first month – Russian Failure or part of the Scenario?!

The first paper. Initially published on 06 March 2022

Cover Photo

The key point, which the free world has failed so many times to take care of, is the understanding of the amount of courage, bravery and sacrifice people paid fighting their own and external totalitarian, inhuman, brutal leadership. Remember, failing to forget this point is, in fact, the birth of the next Putin, Stalin, Hitler. They are not brought by chance into our lives, but born out of our ignorance for someone else’s pain, suffering and sacrifice.

One prediction seems more fact than a prediction.

Good, inspiring words, intentions, and thoughts are good, but never enough to defend values, lives, and a future.

One thing is clear – if the Russian aggression is not stopped, it is clear that all potential aggressiveness around the Globe will receive the message that it is time to act. Obviously, the price to stop ongoing Russian aggression is unbelievably high. And, it is even more obvious that the price to stop following aggressive actions from not only Russia, but all aggressors having in mind that they could act in orchestrated manner is much, much higher. It is also obvious that saying price means human lives, rights to a future, rights to freedom of choice and all kinds of human suffering.

Nobody ever wants to pay a high price. There is a strong natural desire to postpone, to rely on a miracle as there is no chance to rely on humanity, logic, and mercy. The only way to take time to consider possible courses for action is to continuously and uninterruptedly watch how Ukrainians are dying. It will help those who are still in doubt to reduce the time necessary to get ready to act actively. Do not close your eyes – it has never helped anyone!

Every second the world postpones stopping the Russian aggression in Ukraine is raising the price, in geometrical progression!

Is it a Russian failure or part of the Scenario?

Lack of understanding is the path to more tragic consequences.

The reality of the first month of the Russian Aggression surprised western military experts hugely as all their initial estimations have been changed widely, publicly recognizing the dramatic deviations between their expectations and realities in the field. Nobody expected that the Russians would lose dozens and dozens of aircraft and helicopters, hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles and thousands of soldiers.

What is the source of such an outcome? Courage and bravery of Ukrainians – yes. Unprecedented international support – yes. Russian unpreparedness, unprofessionalism, lack of motivation – possible. Those reasons are widespread throughout the media. Those reasons are something we sincerely would like to believe which is why we repeat them. The question is “Did we miss anything? Did we miss anything critical?” The answer is yes, and it is paramount and could cost the lives of a lot to ordinary people!!!

The most important reason driving the current madness is the mentality of the Russian political elite, which remains unchanged for the last hundred years. Russia wants this bloody war to be as bloody as possible, as inhuman as possible and it wants it to last a long time – weeks, months. Their barbarian expectations are all, everybody must know and remember that Russians are merciless, brutal, and unstoppable, without exception. It is also the message for the Russian people, that there is no chance of internal resistance as the stakes are high. That is step one of the scenario. The motto is “we are not searching for humanity, for morality, for love or respect – we are searching for total fear”. The first consequence is that there is zero effectiveness to appeal to humanity or morality.

Look at the period 22 February – 03March, having in mind “Step One”. Russia sent unprepared troops attacking along a line of 2,000 km simultaneously, against all basic principles of Military Art – the goals are:

  1. Spill first blood in great amounts from their own troops to ensure that there is no way back for Russian society. Now, Russians are going to fight not only to overthrow “illegitimate government” (the Russian leadership`s mantra), but to take revenge for the killed Russians. This is important because there was not any widespread desire and will to fight Ukrainians in Russian society and Russian military in particular.
  2. In contrast to another Russian mantra within 2013-February 2022, there were no foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. The brutality of the Russian invasion has convinced people around Europe and others to come to Ukraine to defend Ukraine along with Ukrainians. President Zelensky publicly announced that Ukraine asks and welcomes anybody who is ready to fight the Russian aggression along with Ukrainians to protect Europe’s safety and freedom. Plus, public speeches of some officials (British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) that they will support individuals who would like to join Ukrainians in fighting Russian aggression. This is important as Russian propaganda now has what they were dreaming of. Now Russian propaganda will repeat again and again that foreign mercenaries led by NATO are going to invade Russia as they take full control over Ukraine. It is very important as it is the main justification for the Russian leadership before the Russian society for the price ordinary Russians are going to pay, as they must protect the Russian nation and its existence.
  3. Russia has already started to flatten a few Ukrainian cities. The way they are committing the crime is intentionally open. There is little or no military sense for such suffering and destruction, except one, they want to force the international community as well as Russian society to observe the level of their determination and mercilessness. They want everybody to remember who they are, that is why it is intentionally protracted over time. They control and limit the level of firepower they can produce to lengthen the waiting for the blood and suffering to reach the limit determined by them. Again, the goal is to directly threaten the international community and to threaten Russian society to let them know that Stalin is back and concentration camps or Gulags will consume the bravest of people even if there are millions.
  4. Committing crimes openly against humanity, observing and enjoying statements and promises by western officials that NATO and western leadership establishment will ensure that the western military will not take part in direct confrontation with the Russian military. The goal is to show that western power is limited. Factually, it is a direct and open humiliation of western power, which claimed over the previous few decades that it is capable of projecting its power everywhere. In reality, it appeared that it is Russia, exactly Russia, who can limit western powers as no other case in recent history. This message is digested by everyone and everywhere around the globe, by politicians and ordinary citizens. It is a message to Taiwan to other countries that they will be left alone to die despite all words and promises of support by western powers. In short, the value of western promises is Zero. Therefore, it is paramount for Russians and their team players to ensure that the war is bloody enough and lasts long enough to let everybody around the world understand the message – this is the tragic reality of what is happening.

Two possible ways to stop the tragedy.

The high price for a solution should not surprise anyone if the existence itself is at stake and there is no better solution as well as no time to postpone.

There are potentially three major approaches to stop the tragedy, however, there are only two practical lines of effort. Diplomacy and appeals to humanity are not an option any more as the amount of blood, destruction and suffering which have been inflicted on Ukrainians already overcome the threshold on the road back for Russian leadership as well as for thousands of Russian servicemen and officials. Moreover, enormous human suffering and unimaginable destruction are part of the Russian Scenario to threaten the world.

Option1. The internal rebellion in Russia can stop the tragedy. It is a less risky line of effort, but it is a less probable one. Russia has already become a totalitarian state long before the tragedy started. Russian civil society has been brutally suppressed several times within the past decades including protests against the war in Georgia in 2008, aggression in Ukraine in 2014 and several other protests to defend civil rights, etc. Moreover, Russia has a long history of civil society suppression, when Russian totalitarian machines were mastering their famous, well-known expertise in suppressing dozens of millions of their own citizens.

Still, the possibility to raise Russian citizens to stop the madness is possible, and in light of limited options is the main approach to stop the unfolding tragedy. There should be no intermediate terms like some or significant steps taken to raise Russian masses to stop the disastrous aggression from within. There is no time to precisely adjust the amount of effort to the minimum necessary, as gradual adjustment leads to the strategic loss of time and initiative. This approach has already failed leading to the ongoing tragedy with dozens of thousands of lives lost so far. All possible actions should be taken immediately as the cost grows exponentially day by day. The only term is a set of actions, which guarantees that Russian society will rise to stop the tyranny.

The key point, which the west has failed so many times to take care of is understanding of the amount of courage, bravery and sacrifice people will need to pay fighting their own totalitarian, inhuman, brutal leadership. Remember, failing to forget this point of ignorance to someone`s sacrifice is the birth of the next Putin, Stalin, Hitler. They are not brought by chance into our lives, but born by our ignorance for someone else’s pain, suffering and sacrifice.

The second option is an ultimatum. Yes, it sounds very dangerous but what is the difference between the Caribbean crises and the ongoing Ukrainian crises?

  • At the time of the Caribbean crisis Soviet nuclear weapons were relocated to the border with the US. It is clear that nuclear weapons will be located in Ukraine and Belorussian territory should western power allow Russia to take control of Ukraine. Yes, Russian nuclear weapons have not been relocated yet but that is only a matter of time, as it was publicly announced by at least Belorussian leader.
  • In both cases, the sides publicly threatened to use nuclear weapons. Putin has already put Russian nuclear forces (Strategic Deterrence Forces) on high alert. Putin has already publicly threatened to use nuclear force against European nations, NATO members and others should they confront Russia in the invasion of Ukraine.

It is true that this option is catastrophically dangerous. True, the question is what is the threshold for the free world to consider this option? NATO countries? If yes, the free world will willingly and consciously hand over the rest of the world, which does not belong to Putin, strengthening the aggressor. If so, the western position will be much weaker. Everybody knows, there is little or no sense in negotiating with terrorists. Yes, this is an option, which everybody likes to avoid. However, the truth is that Russians with their international supporters will not stop. Should we let them strengthen themselves before there is no more space to step back?

People are intelligent: let’s list the facts.

I will intentionally omit the minor facts, intentions, promises and expectations as they are directed at creating the legal justification. We should take into account all sides, NOT just Russia’s.

  1. December 2021. Top Russian leadership repeatedly and intentionally publicly (recollect the emphasis on written negotiations) announced their official grievances regarding NATO and European security policies violating Russian security. The quantity of Russian troops relocated to the close vicinity to the Ukraine border reached 100000 – 150000. There was no talk about a West vs Russia direct confrontation, in fact the opposite is true, there were lots of promises that a united response is the only approach to prevent tragedy in Europe. Only sanctions and potential strengthening of NATO countries were discussed. Iran and China’s confrontation with the west continues to accumulate growing tensions. There are public signs that the China and Iran influences are growing and official behavior was tougher as well as bilateral ties between each other including Russia.
  2. January 2021. Active discussions in Europe and the US regarding Russian demands with only one option in essence (as the other options are mere simulation of efforts). Every or almost every top NATO, European and other official were trying to pretend to be great negotiators and conflict mediators with public announcements that they have reached relevant or significant achievements on the way to the disagreement solution. Regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran, Western leadership continues to announce that there are just a few weeks remaining to reach the nuclear deal or it will be irrelevant (the only difference is that the word months was changed to weeks). There are public delegations, top official visits, bilateral agreements signed between Russia, China, and Iran.
  3. February 2022. The US president announced that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine. The US publicly emphasizes that there are no circumstances under which the US military would directly confront Russian military. Immediately after, every EU and NATO country started to repeat officially and publicly the same: “There is no way NATO or EU would come into direct military confrontation regardless of the scale and no matter what happens in Ukraine”. THIS IS THE MOMENT WHEN WEST SHOWS THE GREEN LIGHT TO RUSSIA, CHINA AND IRAN as well as others. That is also a sign to their own citizens to be prepared to do nothing while enjoying massacre as well as official justification and legitimacy for western powers’ leadership decisions as people accepted it by voting silently (voting silently does not change anything formally or informally!). UKRAINIANS RECEIVED ADDITIONAL SIGN AND HOPE – “UNPRECEDENTED INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT” (quite vague and obscure term in light of imminent threat knowing that support without military involvement has never prevented massacre).

Digits have the ability to sober you up.

People tend to believe in what they want disregarding the facts and reality. It never helped anyone…

Based on the general principles of the Military Art, a military operation is considered successful if personnel and weaponry losses are less than 30% as it is considered possible to replenish, restaff to safeguard military capabilities of the units. Yes, it is called – ‘successful operation with heavy losses’.

According to public estimation, Russians have lost about 10,000 personnel, about 100 aircraft and helicopters, and about 500 hundreds armoured vehicles. Even if these numbers are precise, it means that Russia’s losses are about 5% personnel (out of 200 thousand reported before). At the same time, Russians were reinforced by Belorussian military and other Belorussian agencies, which were not considered before. Another truth is that Ukrainians have no source for reinforcement meaning that what is lost is lost.

The main conclusion is that Russians will keep full capabilities to continue the massacre for weeks, which sounds ……. I lack words to finish the sentence.

Additionally, there are ongoing Russian talks with former Soviet republics to join the Russian aggression in Ukraine. In the case that former Soviet countries join the Russian aggression, the Russian striking force will be strengthened by dozens of thousands of personnel and logistic capabilities. That is another dangerous point in light of the current western stance, as those countries are pushed by professional western experts and think tanks into the Russian alliance. In essence, the former Soviet countries clearly understand their geographical location, the value of promises of protection by western powers, as well as watching their worst expectations unfold right in front of them in Ukraine. Should no change take place in western response – imminent consequence will happen in the nearest future – Russia will be reinforced by former Soviet countries. This dark perspective means growing Russian influence in terms of everything: political power, votes in UN, geographical control, resources, military strength and potential as well as justification and strengthening of its internal rhetoric and propaganda. Returning to the growing price for the free world response to the Russian aggression, this short-term perspective means multiplication of current Russian threat to the free world as well as the price for the future free people response.

Who and How should they deal with Putin?

Those who have handled the problem before and while it was transforming (for 30years !!!) into a tragedy have no chance to continue to resolve it as stakes are measured by thousands of lives, understanding that there is zero signs of personal responsibility and public accountability so far.

How is it possible that Russia dared to publicly threaten the whole world in February 2022? How it could be possible taking into account that the former USSR collapsed just 30 years ago, the first major Russian financial crisis happened 25 years ago, the second 13 years ago, and the third 7 years ago. How could it be possible for Russia to threaten the NATO alliance, which grew two times from 16 to 30 member states since the former USSR collapse when 15 countries declared their independence leaving Russia’s sphere of influence? There is no need to add anything to those questions. The current Russian aggressive stance and aggressive behavior is not something which appeared somewhere somehow within one day. In contrast, it is something that has been growing for not years but decades.

All possible answers could be grouped into two major categories: it happened due to the mistakes of western powers OR the aggressor was intentionally recreated for some reason. It is clear and obvious even before the right answer is revealed that it is not about one mistake, on the contrary, it is about systematic misunderstanding, ineffectiveness, and wrongdoing even if some players were acting intentionally as the tragedy was unfolding for almost 30 years. Those who were dealing with the situation during these 30 years, all thinktanks, experts, professionals, officials should have little influence on dealing with the tragedy.

It is critically vital to understand the answer as soon as possible.  It is vital to reject any attempts to postpone or skip the full understanding of routes and courses which led to the ongoing tragedy in Europe. The reason for such harsh statements is clear – those who led the world to these crises must not take any part in the conflict resolution as it will increase suffering and deepen the crisis. One cannot change for the better unless he/she is brave and mature enough to recognize mistakes and accept personal responsibility.

IF YOU FIND THE PAPER IS WORTH SHARING, PLEASE DO. Your help in sharing would be quite valuable.

Kostiantyn Tkachuk

tkachuk.constantine@gmail.com

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