This is how I expect things to unfold in the NATO proxy war using Ukraine against Russia; with some bits about why I think this way.
This is a highly shortened version of the history leading up to now. It is terse, vague, and mostly just refers to things by a name or an event description. The purpose is just to remind about the background to these events and why some things will not change.
First look up Kieven Rus’. In about 900 AD that was the start of the Russian People. For the next 1100 years these Russians eventually formed several countries. “White Russians” the Belarus (which is literally Russian for “White Russian”). Russia proper as we know it today. Ukrainians. Yes, the Ukrainians are substantially Russians. The Ukrainian language is essentially somewhat Old Russian with a couple of odd spellings and a couple of older language features that have been lost in “Modern Russian”. Both Ukrainians and Russians trace the start of their country to Kiev. They share a common history largely until the Bolshevik Revolution that made the USSR (CCCP). The Ukrainians were only not part of Greater Russia for about 100 years (give or take). Most of that was when under Mongol Rule. A small part during the Revolution; but then rejoined under the USSR. Only since the breakup of the USSR has Ukraine been a “Modern Nation”. Within my lifetime (and most other adults too…)
In 2014, the USA (no doubt with NATO partners) pushed a coup (nee “revolution’) on Ukraine and displaced a government friendly to Russia with one compliant with NATO. This didn’t go down so well with the Russian portions of Ukraine and a mess resulted. The proposed “fix” was to recognize those areas as self directing, and agree that all of Ukraine would remain neutral and NOT extend NATO into Ukraine.
Unfortunately, The West (USA, NATO) didn’t bother to keep those agreements. Rump Ukraine has been shelling (killing about 15000 maybe more) the Russian “breakaway” Republics in the Donbass AND NATO stated it was ready to recruit Ukraine into the group. The fact that The West lied, broke promises & written treaties, and killed thousands of Ethnic Russians is the key bit here.
Note that the population of Rump Ukraine (especially outside of Odessa) is largely derived of Polish people (annexed to Ukraine at the end of W.W.II), some Greeks and other odd bits (Tatars, Moldovans / Romanians, Hungarians) in the south west mountains, and a modest number of actual ethnic Ukrainians. And a bunch of Ethnic Russians mostly found along the coast and near the Eastern areas (but some scattered all over especially near the major cities).
After fuming over the western lies and the murder of Ethnic Russians by Rump Ukraine via years of shelling: Russia invaded and incorporated the areas of the Donbas (“breakaway republics”) into Russia at the request of the Ethnic Russians living there.
Note this is history from a more Russian POV, since The West has so polluted our “news” and things like Wikipedia with falsehoods, lies and propaganda that those sources are largely useless.
Where We Are Now
For months, the “News” has been telling us Russia is running out of men, tanks, ammunition, and more; that Putin is about to die from some disease, and that the people of Russia are sick of it all.
That is all flat out lies.
Russia had entered Ukraine with a very modest force expecting to just carefully and without too much damage or death, protect and absorb the Donbas areas. Ukraine was ready to agree when the UK & USA stepped in a put a stop to it. UK & USA wanted a nice long hot war with Russia to “bleed them dry”.
Well, it didn’t work out that way.
Sanctions were supposed to bring the Russian Economy to its knees. But The West doesn’t accept the meaning of “fungible”. Russia mostly sells commodities and those are Fungible. One red winter wheat is much like another. Gold is gold. Oil is oil. Etc. Russia can sell those anywhere.
But the UK & EU can not get natural gas and oil in quantity just anywhere.
The net result is a catastrophic level of inflation, industrial collapse, and fear of a long cold winter in Europe. The USA has high gas and natural gas prices as we are shipping anything we can to Europe and the nation is nearly out of Diesel Fuel (at which point everything stops. Trains, ships, trucks, airplanes, farm tractors & equipment, mining, forestry, the Military trucks planes and ships too; and any industry depending on them).
Russia has expanded their initial very small force by calling up 300,000 reserves (about 10% of their total available, BTW) and is busy hauling a few thousand more tanks, trucks and such out of mothballs. Oh, and they have LOTS of oil & Diesel to run them with…
Russia has also been launching waves of drones, cruise missiles & other missiles at Rump Ukraine for days on end (weeks on end?) with no end in sight. Their factories are busy making more, too. Lots more. THEY have the natural gas to make ammonia & nitrates that are used to make modern explosives and gunpowders. (Note that European NATO has had to shut down production of those due to no Russian Gas).
Essentially: When NATO decided that Ukraine could not take terms and settle, Russia (and Putin) saw that a limited incursion sparing as much infrastructure and lives as possible was not going to be allowed by the flood of NATO arms and money into Ukraine. Strategy had to change, and it has.
So Russia has mobilized to fight a real war. Against NATO by proxy.
NATO in Europe is down to about 2 days worth of ammunition and has depleted most of their stocks of available excess equipment to send it to Ukraine. They do not have the industrial capacity at this time to make more. Due to lack of Russian Gas and oil, they have had to shut down metal refining and fabricating, chemical production, and the manufacture of fertilizers (and the related gun propellants – ‘gunpowder’ – and explosives). The supply of arms to Ukraine is going to run dry, just about the time that Russia is attacking in force.
The USA has run out of credit (Japan & China are dumping about $2 Trillion of US Bonds and will not be buying more… Europe is not in any position to buy. Obviously scratch Russia.) So who will we sell them too? Namibia? Paraguay? So the only avenue open is “print & spend” and hope The Fed can paper over it enough to hide the high inflation that will create. The “run rate” at which the USA can make more missiles and such is very slow, far slower than the rate they are being consumed in Ukraine. Then it takes weeks to months to ship them over. The USA will not be an important source of materials and arms going forward (unless we strip our own units and make them useless).
Russia knows this.
Compare BRICS: Russia & China have been busy working around “sanctions” of the financial sort. They now have a non-USA dominated monetary clearing with their own currencies (backed by gold, BTW) and have an alternative to the SWIFT interbank clearance system. There’s something like a 18 countries who have asked to join in (including, BTW, Saudi Arabia – who are now trading some oil NOT in $US).
Essentially The West is broke and folks are abandoning their manipulated controls systems and petty untrustworthy “sanctions risky” clearance methods. All the decades of built up anger, hatred, and resentment at the oppression from Europe & the USA forcing them to do crap they didn’t want to do, now sees an alternative. This is just huge.
So what will Russia do now?
Drone & Missile strikes will continue until Rump Ukraine is on its knees. My best guess is about 1 week after the ground freezes hard enough to carry tanks. call it Mid-December.
The citizens of Rump Ukraine are being slowly herded into the EU Nations. As the lights, water, and heat go out, these folks will largely evacuate westward. When the final push comes it will be a humanitarian disaster for those who have not yet left. Rump Ukraine is starting to advise folks to evacuate Kiev. These folks have a battle ground to their East. Water to the South. They can really only go into Poland or West. Putin / Russia is trying hard not to kill too many nor destroy too much; but it is quite aware of the mess 10,000,000 “refugees” will make in the EU when they show up needing shelter, food, water, heat, light etc. right at the time that the EU can’t make enough for their own citizens… This has the potential to collapse the EU (and will certainly cause some national governments to flip their “leadership”).
With that civilian flood in progress, Russia will start a very real invasion. Not like the gentle and careful one of the Special Military Operation. No. One with rampant destruction of anything military in front of it. Full air, sea, and land bombardment and attack. A large force will come down from Belarus and capture Kiev fairly quickly. Another will capture that pesky dam that Rump Ukraine wanted to blow up and flood Kherson. Another large force will sweep over the Dnieper river and take Odessa (likely to include ending the Ukrainian Navy and landing forces by sea too) connecting to the Russian Enclave in Moldova “breakaway republic” of Transnistria.
Then the question of what to do with an even smaller Rump of a Rump Ukraine will be pondered.
Clearly highly Ethnic Russian areas like Odessa will happily rejoin Mother Russia, having been Russia since Catherine The Great. The questions will be those Polish & Other Ethnic regions.
IMHO, the best thing for Putin to do would be to give each back to their parent ethnic countries. Hungarian areas to Hungary. Polish to Poland. etc.
What is more likely to happen is that something named “Ukraine” will continue to exist, but have nearly no Ethnic Russians (and few Ethnic Ukrainians) in it. Most Ukrainians will be in the EU (or Russia).
NATO & The US will fume about it, and a few hundred $Billion more will go missing into slush funds nominally to “do something about it”; but nothing will be done.
You see, NATO has vowed to fight Russia “To the last Ukrainian!”; and they are already close to that point now due to 6 figure Ukrainian deaths (not “casualties” but dead with who knows how many injured and broken). After a full on Russian Army Attack, there will be no men of fighting age left in Rump Ukraine to do the fighting…
I figure that point will come about March.
Note: Russia has a “Dead Hand” system that will fire all their nuclear weapons if it is not communicated with regularly. All automated “death for everyone”. An actual Doomsday Device. It is not possible to have a NATO First Use that wins, nor is it possible to have a “decapitation attack” on Moscow. Well, you could do it; it would just mean a global nuclear destruction of The West…
Also note: I’ve been watching Russian Youtube Videos from some random folks doing walks around various cities of Russia. They are clean. Stores are full of everything (even banned western goods). Folks are out walking in furs, driving cars, and having a full night life (Moscow Christmas decorations are the best, but St. Petersburg is pretty good too). Their cities are places I’d be willing to live. Unlike San Francisco or NYC hell holes of dirt, corruption and crime. Oh, and lights are on everywhere, even at midnight. Unlike German and other European cities that are going dark at night due to not enough power. Russians are mostly in favor of the war and love Putin. Their major complaint is that he moved too slowly and didn’t use enough force up front.
It will not be possible to “cut a deal” with Putin. He has several decades of broken promises from The West. You can not negotiate nor make deals with pathological liars, and Putin knows this. There is no longer any negotiated ending. Just capitulation or destruction. That choice left the building with the abandonment of the Minsk Accords and the UK putting any deal off the table and the EU putting sanctions on.
The “sanctions” will not “do it”. They are only harming the EU & USA. They were stupid from the start since Russia & China make anything they need. The West doesn’t make anything they are critically dependent upon. We can’t live without their oil, uranium, rare earth minerals, lithium, pharmaceuticals, electronic gadgets and more. Making semiconductors is not very hard as long as you are one generation or more back. Military gear (and most other gear too) uses older era chips that they both can make just fine, thanks. It is mostly gamers and some research computers that want the latest and fastest microchips.
Sidebar on Missile Chips:
Some decades back, the Spousal Uncle was running a Cruise Missile Factory in the Los Angeles area. We visited and talked. He was having a devil of a time getting the parts he needed. In particular 16 K bit RAM chips. You see, at that time, Silicon Valley had moved on to 32 K, then 64 K chips and were working on 128 K. Almost nobody was making 16K chips anymore, certainly not Mil Spec.
His missiles had been acceptance tested and type certified with just those 16K chips. He was not allowed to just swap in a newer generation of tech.
Moral of story? Military Gear does not NEED and in fact often is not allowed to even use newer better more modern semiconductor chips. The WEFies & Eurocrats (having never had a real job in their life) don’t know things like this; thus they make crap decisions like “embargo modern chips”. It may piss off some gamer in Moscow, but will do nothing to pretty much anything else in Russia.
So what can be done?
Not Much. All we can really do is sit back and admire what Russia does, and how lousy our “leadership” has been with their bluster, arrogance, and ignorance. Not a decent chess player among them, and nobody who knows how economies or anything industrial really works.
Russia is in the drivers seat. They do not care about anything we say, and have not cared about anything we did. They know The West is corrupt, lies, will not hold to agreements, has no moral center, and is largely incompetent. (Just one look at any of Biden, Justin, or Ursula will tell them that…). They’ve taken everything thrown at them and not even noticed.
Since a “deal” can not be made, and if it were made it could not be trusted: no deal will happen.
Since all of the money and hardware thrown at them as accomplished nothing but getting more Ukrainians killed, Russia has nothing to fear from more of the same (besides, to the extent NATO gear gets destroyed, it stops being a threat to Russia… so from their POV “great deal!”.)
The only potential military options would be full on NATO engagement (where nobody in NATO is mobilized at present and most of them are now out of ammo and “spares”) or a Nuclear First Strike (that would be NATO Suicide as Russia has way more nukes and delivery systems and is already deployed). So no military solution is available. Certainly not before the Russian Offensive is almost over in February.
With politics / negotiations off the table due to serial lying and NATO military doomed to fail; Russia knows that the only thing to do is simply dominate and win. So that is what it will do. And it will do it in winter when cold and snow are on their side.
If you live in the USA: Stock up on food and fuel and anything you are likely to need as prices will only be going higher. Move out of $US and into something more stable. Land and Houses ought to be getting cheap in a few weeks to months as that market halts on high interest rates. Metals and more (like, oh, fabricated metals like brass & lead…) or even silver & gold.
If you live in the EU: Expect to have fuel and food shortages, loss of electricity for hours to days, and only sporadic heating at modest low levels. Oh, and figure out how to feed, house, and care for a few Million Ukrainian Refugees. All while your governments decay into chaos and your industries are shutting down due to energy costs and non-profitability. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Welcome to “The Great Reset”. But only happening in NATO countries and not globally. Sorry Globalists; most of the world isn’t buying your insanity. Russia, China, Muslim World, India – to name just a few… (Brasil TBD. The GEBs installed Lula – a known criminal and pawn – and last I checked the Brazilian people were in the streets. So watch that space.) But the BRICS may be turning into the BRICSS+ as Brasil, Russia, India, China, South Africa add on Saudi and a dozen others. All willing to give the Middle Finger to the USA & EU. Once you blow your credibility and show you can not be trusted, folks tend to leave your monetary and trade systems. “Good luck with that”…
Sidebar On Bridges
The Duran is a great place for analysis. Alexander Mercouris has great connections inside the Eastern European block and Russia and is mostly right on what’s going on there. I think one thing he’s said is not quite correct though. It is the bridges over the Dnieper River.
Alexander thinks the Russians will blow up the bridges shortly (so as to prevent Ukrainian re-supply to their forces east of the river up north). I look at it differently.
You do not blow up a bridge you intend to use.
I believe Russia will want those bridges so that they can more readily get equipment across the river in Mid-December to early January.
Either of us could be right. BUT, that means this is a “tell”. IF the bridges are blown up by Russia, that means they don’t want them, which means they are going defensive of the Donbas and not so interested in big troop movements over the river. IF however the bridges are not damaged as an assault starts, you can bet they will be captured by Special Forces and held for the invasion across the river. That will say a lot about intentions.
his most recent posting: