by Jon Biddle
If you haven’t been watching the news recently, Russia has invaded Ukrainian, which has been on the cards for around six years. The hors d’oeures for this was the occupation of Crimea in 2014. Let’s not split hairs here, let’s just call that an invasion too. I know Vlad doesn’t like the word invasion. It’s not good optics, but the term ‘special military operation’ 200,000 Russian soldiers with armor have trundled across the Ukrainian border. Armed to the teeth after they were told they would be greeted by a cheering crowd and flowers covering the roads. And while Vlad prefers not to use this word, which, what he’s been doing along with the soldiers, is, by the Oxford Concise dictionary, the right word is ‘invasion’ — sorry Vlad.
But the baying question, why? Why does Europe have to go through conflict again?
Well, there are two reasons Putin wants Ukraine, and he will stop at nothing to achieve this, including the use of nuclear weapons.
1. Putin believes Ukraine and Russia are one. He truly believes Ukrainian people are as Russian as Muscovites. And the Ukraine ought to welcome the invading Russian troops with open arms. Which is why questioned and confused captured Russian soldiers; why they are fighting as they thought flowers would cover the road as they rolled through the major cities, but they have come across a fiercely entrenched populous, willing to die for this flag. This on its own makes the situation for Putin untenable. History dictates, fighting a protracted war against an armed, passionate militia is impossible. Ask any Vietnam Vet, or even any Russian grunt who fought in Afghanistan through the 80s or Chechnya, or going back even further and finding a veteran of Stalingrad?
It’s not possible. Add to this a global response to anger, revulsion and vectoring crippling sanctions. Hitting the wallets and purses of most Russians, which are left with only one option — overthrow and get rid of Putin.
2. The second, and more credible reason, Ukraine wants in with NATO. You can hardly blame him. Let’s disregard NATO and what it stands for, along with any rational thought process. This clown thinks with NATO on Russia’s doorstep is a risk to Russian security when, in fact, the only thing NATO stands for is peace throughout the world. Maybe NATO ought to change their stance on this.
As a segue to what I have seen so far with the Russian army’s strategies as a soldier myself. I think we have nothing to worry about if NATO commits to a war with Russia. Their ground tactics are pathetic, outdated, coupled with painful command and control. Russia will not want to fight NATO.
But the People of Ukraine, boy, is an outstanding country. Willing to fight to the last drop of blood led by a comedian who at the moment of truth turned into a lion. The irony here is we seem to be led by lions who have turned into comedians.
I watched an elderly woman in Irpin approach a couple of Russian soldiers. She was told to move along and go another way, but she wasn’t done. With her crooked walking stick pointing at the squad commander, she advised the soldier ‘put sunflowers in your pockets, so when you die your family can come and find you.’ That told me more about courage than anything in my life. How powerful was that statement?
The Russians stated at the start, only military targets would be targeted. The level of civilian support to the Ukrainian military had, Russia had to swap tactics. They had to turn to the soft targets, push the civilians out of the towns and cities by targeting schools, hospitals, and shopping centres. Yesterday (Wednesday) the Russians indiscriminately shelled a children’s hospital. Given the level of technology being used to pinpoint targets for the sake of humanity, I hope this hospital was not specifically targeted and was a mistake. A crime and all those responsible for this will face their day in court. But this is the Russian paradigm, isn’t it? Cause an exodus of the civilian population by continually shelling the towns and cities. Whose left are the people willing to fight for the Russian military? Acutely aware of the Stalingrad dichotomy, the chemical weapons will come out. A precursor to this we have already seen with the fake news of a bio-weapons lab funded by the Americans had been discovered. Let’s put this into context: the geopolitical situation of Ukraine over the last ten years has been politically hazardous. Why would a NATO superpower like the Americans place something which would be considered incredibly sensitive in such a volatile place? This, my friends, is the Russian propaganda machine. The headline soon will be chemical weapons have been used.
Let’s dive deeper here. Russia is worried about NATO expansion. NATO, as an organisation, doesn’t expand by its own effort. NATO expands because countries want to join it. Because of the peace it promotes through a mutual protection, Putin’s issue is because Ukraine, which he sees as Russian, who wants to join NATO, is the problem. Let’s not even talk about Ukraine developing their own nuclear weapons, which is just not true. That’s not even worth the column inches in the free press.
But we know this is all bullshit. Civilians always impede conflict. Wasn’t it coined ‘collateral damage?’
To only target military targets, you need a robust command structure along with a well-trained army. I have seen absence in both these camps. War crimes are being proliferated every day in the Ukraine and there is little we can do to stop it. It must come from the Russian leadership.
But what will Ukraine look like when Russia will ultimately beat them?
I can tell you, and I don’t need a crystal ball.
If there are Russian troops on Ukrainian soil, a draw out, protracted guerrilla war where thousands of Russian troops will be killed. Not to mention terrorism in Russian cities, where Russian civilians will be slaughtered.
But the crying shame of all of this war in Europe was something from the past. If Europe remains united in their revulsion to the Russian invasion, there is no weak link in our untied front Putin can exploit. The one thing is for sure, Putin will be long gone before the last generation pays for his greed and lunacy.
Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Netflix, Airbnb to name a few, with all these companies connected to the wider network. Life in Russia will be catapulted back to the 70s, which one hopes is encouragement enough for the people to rise and throw this monster out of the office that doesn’t represent the Russian people.
What kills me, I have spent years studying Stalingrad and the ordinary Russian, sticking it out and seeing the end of the Nazi war machine. Kiev will become the new Stalingrad and will churn through a generation of young men and women, of which the entire world will have a grandstand seat.
As I write this blog post, the Russians have said refugees can enter Russia safely as these will be the only safe corridors for the civilians to travel through. So, let’s get this straight. The country bombing you and destroying your home and killing your family is stating the only safe route out of this hell is through their own lines and into their country. I echo the words of the Ukrainian prime minster. That’s immoral. Putin states Ukraine is a neo-nazi state. The only people behaving like the Nazis so far is Russia.
Some global security experts have said World War Three has already started. In the lead up to both world wars before, political machinations and incompetence abound, created an unstable Europe, war in the Ukraine is no exception. The Ukraine needs a no-fly zone urgently. The only people who can offer this is NATO, but doing this will directly draw NATO into combat with Russia. Not a good thing.
Harsh economic sanctions are not directly going to affect the Kremlin, the gamble for Europe, every Russian citizen right now can’t buy anything with a credit card or Visa. They can’t use PayPal, and the value of their cash is almost worthless. They ground most of the Russian domestic aircraft due to pull out of Boeing and Airbus. The wager is the public will turn to the Kremlin and throw Putin out of his office, fingers crossed.
If Russia rolls over and replaces Putin in this power vacuum, which would ensue, what would be left instead? This for me, this is the million-dollar question, because in the past, Russia hasn’t got the best track record.
I think it will be inevitable, NATO getting drawn into a war with Russia. Having said this, the Ukrainian army has halted the Russian advance. Putin backed into a corner will either cause him to roll over, or turn to his nuclear weapons. As soon as he does this, Russia will be obliterated to the history books, which one hopes the surrounding people will have the conscious of thought and stop this lunacy before heading to DEFCON 4.
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels