The many shades of war
At the beginning of “Putin’s War” — which should really be called “Biden’s War” — since it was Creepy Joe’s reluctance to consider even modest measures to avoid this conflict that caused it — I predicted four stages completing sometime in April, maybe May, given the unpredictable, if not unprecedented nature of events.
Those 4 stages I will restate as corresponding to :
establishment of military supremacy on land, sea, and air
constitutional reform of the Ukrainian State
Military supremacy was achieved in the first week or so and the UAF’s best forces. which had been preparing for a “final solution” to the two republics which had the temerity to be Russian, were left isolated in Donbass, without the ability to maneuver or resupply. Simply put theUAF was hamstrung.
Although Putin effectively won the war at this early stage, the aims of his operation were different from any in modern history —not conquest — but the preservation of civilian life and infrastructure, a war based on principle and not just on expediency as has been the case of all American wars. His was a John Boyd War — physical warfare of course but also “psychological“ ”and “moral (morale) warfare”.
“Demilitarization” means just that : destruction of the Ukraine’s military capabilities. Advanced gun control, if you like. Before you turn swords into ploughshares, you have away the swords and set up a forge and do some work.
Success in this kind of operation is obviously essential to “denazification” — melting down the swords — the ultimate aim of mental warfare in the Ukraine. Putin knew that he could not compete with the Empire of Lies’ sophisticated, all-inclusive propaganda machine and I don’t think he wanted to even try.
He knew that the rewards of propaganda are usually transient. Reality wins over virtuality in the end, especially in this day of alternative media. Lie and you end up hated when people realize they were tricked.
Demonstrating integrity takes longer trust but the trust you build is solid. People may not like what you say, but if you are honest and give them choices and keep your word, they will respect you, even if they are not want to go for beer with you. Mind you, such respect hast to be mutual.
By contrast, fascists are all about power, which is maintained through violence. There are those above and those below. Those below are not worth of respect — only those above.
So these people exploit fear, frustration and hatred, with violent attacks on those who don’t fit in such as the Roma and LGBT people in Ukraine. After that they turn on anyone who does not comply with the order they impose or the perfect the world that is their ultimate aim — -a black and white, up-down world with no nuances or compromises. They use propaganda to lie about their goals and actions and inevitably blame their victims or their opponents. As I said, theirs is a black and white world. You’re black; they’re white.
Now that they are losing “bigly” the Ukrainain Banderites resort to false flags, which chiefly appeal to the West, which does not care if they are true or not but whether they fit the script.
Locally, however, as propaganda is exposed for what it is as it must be in the end, trust is destroyed — and only fear remains. Locally, people suffer the results in daily life. For Westerners, this war is abstract; a thing of the imagination: they do not bleed as people in the Ukraine do.
Say thank you to Elon Musk for his contribution of Star Link, which provides people internet access — which means access to other points of view including Russian news. You can’t watch RT in Canada but you can on Star Link.
With the help of the CIA, the Ukrainian Nazis have infiltrated almost all of the Ukraine’s institutions, from political parties to the bureaucracy to local governments to education to the media, their aim being the creation of a neo-Banderite, neo-Galician state. Keep these things in mind, Ukrainian fascism is an imported disease; it did spring from local culture.
Even if the UAF is crushed and destroyed, the fascists will still have to be identified and hunted down in all the nooks and crannies of society. They are like roaches — an infestation. That’s “denazification”.
War crimes tribunals could help. And there are plenty of war crimes to prosecute. Since most of those war crimes were carried out in Russian Ukraine, the people there can and should handle come-uppance — not only for the guys with the swastikas tattooed on their backs, but for collaborators who profited from compliance with the Bad Guys. That includes the members of many local governments.
Watch for a lot of people suddenly repenting — instantly converted to the cause of pluralistic democracy. This is already happening. The refrain is, “They made me do it!” Or: “I had no choice”. “Or: “what could I do?”
Some analysts estimated Russian forces were initially in excess of 200,000. However, more recently it seems that my early estimate of just 100,000 is a better number. This, against the UAF’s original force of 300,000 to 400,000, the second largest and one of the best equipped militaries in Europe. Keep in mind that Ukraine is also twice the size of Germany. So the Russian success is immense — and something that has definitely not gone unnoticed in the Pentagon, who are now backpedaling their support for Ukraine.
Of course, the invasion force in Donbass was smaller than the Ukraine’s total forces but it was best equipped, with the most fascist extremists, the Ukraine’s version of beserkers.
Putin’s strategy was masterful and while accomplished at some expense, it has minimized civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure.
From an American point of view, this policy is impractical — because Americans consider war only as “physical” (to use Boyd’s word). While Russians are willing to make sacrifices in war for what they believe — for principle, Americans aren’t. Their wars are never moral.
Putin seems to be practicing his own version of John Boyd’s warfare strategy. OODA . Observe, orient, decide, act — then do it all over again, maybe with different options and choices .
Putin has learned a lot from the initial attack and withdrawn some forces from Western Ukraine, where they were used to tie down the UAF while exposing military assets to aerial attack.
Next comes a final attack on the remnants of the UAF in Donbass and Lugansk.
The Russians have mobility. The “Nazis” do not.
The first target will be Nikolayaev, a city of almost 500,000 between Mariupol, now almost completely under DPR control and Odessa. The city is big but it is not as well defended as Mariupol was.
My guess is that the Russians will clean up the towns and villages of the Nikolayev Oblast. These are easier to evacuate permitting the use of heavy weapons, include MLRS and thermobaric weapons, and attack choppers.
Fascists, as I have said, are all about force and the demonstration of extreme force cannot fail to make it easier to take Nikolayaev City as well.
Now that Mariupol has been (mostly) freed, more forces are available.
As Bruce Lee pointed out, it is not how big or strong you are, it is how you apply the strength you do have and how you hit and where.
Of course, the Russians might ignore the city of Nikolayaev as they have pretty much with Odessa, creating another temporary prison. They could just focus on wack-a-mole in the countryside. In this version of the game, however, when you wack one those furry critters, it doesn’t pop up elsewhere, — it dies.
The Bucha incident shows how desperate the fascists are for foreign support. This kind of thing will be only partially successful in Western Ukraine as propaganda, to the extent that the fascists have repeatedly shown their true colors. The “narrative” gets old quickly. This has been the case with all previous American wars.
Most people are not extremists. And rumors of torture, rape and murder travel fast. While the Bucha story has been taken as an excuse by our rulers to impose new sanctions and spend tax dollars on new shipments of weaponry to the Ukraine, possibly half of this will be destroyed from the air or captured and diverted to the new Ukrainian republics. The DPR and LPR are thankful for you donations,
After Nikolayev, with the DPR freed up to liberate Odessa, if they want, you can expect the Russians to turn their attention to the Ukraine east of the Dnieper. I would think that Zelensky will try to set up a government in exile in Poland — or move to Canada (and run for parliament!).
Russia will force a constitutional referendum sometime in May if possible to coincide with celebration of the end of the Great Patriotic War. This vote would offer choices. One would be to separate Russian Ukraine from Western (Polish-Galician) Ukraine. with the conditions of — neutrality, demilitarization, and prohibition of political groups advocating violence or hatred. But any such state would have to initially policed.
Another choice might be a federation of Ukrainian republics, each independent but linked, a kind of union relationship such as Russia and Belarus have or the EU has with its member states.
Still another would be a confederation, with a single parliament federally and separate parliaments for each oblast as in the Canadian system, with respect for multiethnicity.
However, the Russian speaking republics will want to join Russia and now fear their non-Rus “Ukrainian” brethren. You can be sure that the Empire of Lies will not accept any political settlement, however democratically decided — at least, not if history is any indication.
Prognostication is very difficult, especially with regard to the future. But it was a reasonable guess at the time, probably.