Degrading the Special Military Operation

In response to the Duran’s video “Upgrading the Special Military Operation”.

While I agree with most of what Alexander Mercouris is saying, my own conclusion is quite opposite. We are not witnessing the escalation of the Russian military efforts in Ukraine, but in fact the effects of the opposite. Strelkov talked in one of his recent posts of the 1st Guards tank army hastily retreat from the Kharkov region in order to escape the possible encirclement.

For God’s sake, 1st tank army is the most elite and capable force of the previously Soviet, and now Russian Ground Forces. Yes, I understand it wasn’t the full-blooded army, but some pieces of it, deployed here and there, and many of its units are still in Russia, especially the ones manned by conscripts. Still, whatever units they did have in place, surly they could have defeated some few lightly armored Ukrainian brigades, which didn’t have no great artillery support, and no air-support to speak of.

Yet it looks like the decision has already been made to abandon the “liberated” people of the Kharkov region to the terror of neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalists and a worst kind of violent criminals. Those people were betrayed by the Russian Federation’s government. The Russian and allied soldiers, who believed they are fighting a just war for the sake of those people as well as the people of the Russian Federation, were betrayed. Their sacrifices for capturing of those territories were not only made in vain, but for the demise of the people who trusted the Russian promises of protection of the Russian speakers. As in Bucha and other areas, the better thing for those people was for Russian Army to never come in the first place, if they are being abandoned after branded as collaborators and traitors.

The basis of Putin actions in Ukraine was the defence of the Russian-speaking population. He talked many times of the Russian responsibility to protect those people outside of Russia, as well as Russian citizens inside Russia itself. The Russian actions of the past week or so made it painfully clear, Putin’s words mean nothing. If it wasn’t a result of his intervention into the Russian military affair, then the level of incompetence requires very drastic actions against those incompetent commanders, and that includes the Putin’s best bud Shoigu as well. Being cautions to the point of cowardness to steer things up in the current political elites, he would do no such thing. He brags then things go well but remains silent then the population want his explanations of what happened, and his reassurances of this being a part of some cunning plan, which will turn the situation around quickly in a big way. Since Putin will most probably do no such thing, his popular support will plunge like a rock.

I tried to explain the cultural difference of keeping one’s word, and how it is much more important to a Russian leader. In fact, in the Eastern cultures as a whole, I feel it is much more critical. If the West wanted to replace Putin as the Russia’s leader, he might have just made a first successful attempt. Of course, the one who would replace the Putin would be much more aggressive towards the West, which will also carry more risks for escalation towards the actual Russia-NATO war and, ultimately, the use of the unconventional weapons.

The SMO was degraded to the point it could now only go two ways: Putin will start growing some balls and cleanse the MoD from incompetence and corruption (but I doubt that — he is probably too old for such changes), or the Russia will start losing this war politically, which means Putin will have to go soon enough, and a new (probably much more totalitarian) chapter will begin in the Russian politics.

Putin started his successful political carrier as the leader of Russian Federation, when he oversaw the second Chechen war. Russia got out of this war as an undeniable winner, after the previous treacherous connection to the West and its under-the-table deals were cut-off, and after some losses of Russian soldiers, including conscripts. It seems, Putin has forgotten the reason he succeeded were many of his predecessors in the Prime minister chair have failed. Maybe he is under the illusion it is because of his intellect of capabilities as a politician. There are no irreplaceable people, and that is a good thing.

And by the way, the Russian shelling of the power grid was done in anger most of all. Because of the other possible reasons were always present in this conflict. What is new, is the military debacle and humanitarian disaster Russian military has created in the Kharkov region in the end of August — beginning of September. Puting got angry, Putin got scared, and he gave the order. But he, as always, only went half the way, “de-electrifying” the ethnically Russian areas. I’m sure those Russian have now another reason to be thankful to Putin and the Russian government.

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