SMO to ATO and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict.

Comments on Duran’s latest video “Calm in the Kremlin, SMO plan for now. ATO remains on the table”.

I feel like Alexander is misunderstanding what happened with Zyuganov’s proposal and Peskov’s comment. Zyuganov made a proposal, which, to my understanding, was built around one central idea — to upgrade the SMO in Ukraine legally in such way, what the Government couldn’t decide to abandon it without the approval of the Duma. Whis comes after what seems like some sort of unilateral de-escalation or de-militarization efforts on the part of the Russian MoD.

A lot of forces were withdrawn from the previously occupied (there is no sense in calling it “liberated”, since the “liberators” have suddenly and cynically abandoned the “liberated” without any explanations) territories in the Kharkov region. Where have those forces moved to — we don’t know. They are nowhere to be seen. All the other fronts are holding up without any major reinforcements. It is theoretically possible, there is a secret concentration of assault forces that will be used for some deep maneuver operation, but there is zero information to support such it. If so, those forces are most probably had been taken out of Ukraine. Which looks like an abandonment of the “denazification” and “demilitarization” goals that were voiced by Putin.

So, the sentiment right now among the critical thinking people is that either the MoD has made a grave miscalculation in its war management, or there is a political imperative to downgrade the SMO for the sake of some secret peace talks, for example.

That is why Zyuganov wants to classify the SMO as a war, which couldn’t be abandoned by the Kremlin’s decision alone. All the other talks about possible mobilization etc. are just some things he throwed around to camouflage this main point, so not to make it painfully obvious that he wants to prevent a government-initiated defeat in Ukraine. In other words, he doesn’t want “Minsk-3”.

About Peskov — all he said is that general mobilization isn’t currently on the table. Which is not here nor there, and in any case have nothing to do with Zyuganov’s initiative.

I do agree with Alexander, when he says that he doesn’t see a need for a general mobilization, in order for Russia to achieve all its goals in Ukraine. I believe Russia has enough professional forces for this task, provided it has a competent military command. And if it doesn’t (which is also my belief), then it should reorganize it until it does. If I’m not mistaken, it was Suvorov that said Russian Army should win wars with skill, not numbers. In modern warfare this only even more true — skills and powerful weaponry becomes more accessible, while human lives — more precious.

And I would like to add, that the only allied formation that is currently gaining ground in Ukraine, and in a highly defended area on top on that, is the Wagner Group. Which is not under the direct command of the Russian military. Maybe it is clue of where all those failures come from.

But having incompetent MoD top officials has its benefits for the current president and his close associates. A capable and victorious commander will always have the support of the people. And we know what happened to Zhukov after the end of WWII, then his popularity rivaled that of Stalin. This is also probably why Strelkov, was quietly moved into shadows, and all he left with is an FSB colonel’s pension and a Telegram channel. Although, I have to say, it is better Strelkov would be kept away from any position of power in politics. But the main point stands — there are no competent and promising figures in the Russian politics or military today. And the only ones in Russia who are benefiting from this situation, is the current political elite.

So, Russia has an ability to win this war without general mobilization. And as long as the war continues, there will be enough of the popular pressure on the political elites to get the army into the shape. The only one possibility (excluding the direct NATO intervention) for the defeat, is some kind of diplomatic solution, akin to the Minsk-1 and -2. And this is what, to my understanding, Zyuganov want to prevent. Because he doesn’t trust enough in Putin not to betray the people of Russia. Alexander often says that Putin is very much thinks and acts in the legal plane. Maybe him being legally bound to continue this war till the end isn’t such a bad idea.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

This timing is very unlikely to be a simple coincidence. Azerbaijan sees an opportunity to take by force what it wants. Turkey sees an opportunity to promote its influence in the region, and to weaken Russia. All the rest will watch to see how will Russia react: is it a paper tiger, as the war in Ukraine lately suggests? If Russia will allow Azeris to do what they want, its status will significantly drop. China wouldn’t see Russia as equal (for now) but as an inferior country. The traditional Russian satellites in the Central Asia will start to seek other patrons in East or West. Ukraine’s supporters will be emboldened even more to supply more capable weapons. And the rest of the world will follow those trends as well.

The Latest Izyum and Kharkov debacle made a fracture in Russian image. If Russia will fail to display its power and commitment to its allies, then the situation will become much worse, and may, eventually, get out of control all together. That is why Russia will need to open a second front in Caucasus if needed, and with much more vigor and determination that it did in Ukraine. Azerbaijan is a friendly nation by large, but there is no more room left for empty-worded diplomacy. Russia needs to do it for itself, as well for the Armenia and the long-lasting stability of the region.

And I have no idea who is in the right here, Armenia or Azerbaijan or neither or both. But that is not the point. This is a very volatile region. Even before the USSR collapsed, a lot of blood started to flood in the (former) Soviet Republics. Repetition of such inter-ethnic conflicts should be prevented, and it is Russia’s historic responsibility to do so.

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