The situation in long-suffering Ukraine (without any irony towards the country and its people) is developing in such a way that it can be stated that those interested in the conflict, possibly armed [conflict], have completed the pre-war preparatory measures, at least in the diplomatic sphere. Further, either someone has to give in, or the next step forward means war.
At the same time, Russia cannot have a «large-scale» war with Ukraine — [too] different weight categories. Ukraine is not even able to conquer the Donbass. The participation of Kiev in a direct military clash with Moscow, even as part of a group of states, will mean for Ukraine its almost instant destruction as a political entity.
At the same time, Ukraine acts only as a provocateur of the first clash. Its task is to somehow indicate to the world community Russia’s participation in the military conflict.
Next, the United States intends to unleash a European war, with the participation of at least several Eastern European countries — members of NATO and the EU. This will allow them to put pressure on their Western European allies who do not want a conflict with Russia, demanding that they decide whether they are with Moscow or with NATO.
This is not an easy choice for Western Europe. Choose NATO — [means] choose a war, which in this case will come close in scale to the world one. Choosing Russia means abandoning a century-old system of alliances in which Western Europe is accustomed to feel comfortable. There is a very high risk that the Europeans will choose the United States and NATO, hoping that they will be lucky and they will not have to fight. But this is the hope for a miracle, while God sends miracles only to the worthy.
Thus, the envisaged military solution to the crisis on the contact line in Donbass cannot be called a Ukrainian-Russian war. The situation is much worse.
Let me remind you that the Russian ambassador recalled for consultations did not return to the United States. Moreover, this could not have been reported. Nobody knows for how long he was withdrawn, but the information was disseminated through the official Russian media. Moscow indicated in the information space, and then confirmed through the mouth of the Minister of Foreign Affairs that relations with the United States were at a freezing point, there was no dialogue. This means that the situation is worse than during the Cuban missile crisis. Then the USSR and the USA were engaged in an active dialogue in order to prevent a war.
The European media spread information that the United States brought its troops in Europe to the maximum degree of combat readiness. At the same time, a survey was conducted in Italy on the topic: «Are you ready to fight with Russia for Ukraine?» Moreover, many survey participants (most of whom do not want any war) emphasized that in fact it is not about a war for some Ukraine unknown to the majority of Italians, but about a war for the interests of Washington.
So the Europeans understand everything perfectly. The Italians even expressed the hope that if a large-scale war breaks out, then Putin will fulfill his promise to strike at decision-making centers and will not allow the Americans, by dragging others into the conflict, to traditionally sit out overseas.
Some Polish general got excited and announced the urgent need to create a Baltic Union (consisting of Poland, the Baltic states and the Scandinavian countries) for a war with Russia. NATO does not seem reliable enough to him.
There are enough marasmic generals in any army, but when such statements begin to be actively discussed in the national and international press, this means that the corresponding society (Polish, Baltic) is morally ready for war, restraining centers, including the instinct of self-preservation, which normally block the acceptance of risky solutions are disabled.
The Ukrainian leadership, despite the provocative shelling of Donbass, was clearly afraid to provoke Russia into real hostilities, remembering what happened in 2008 with the Georgian army, and in 2014-15 with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Americans, who until the last moment pretended that they had nothing to do with it, even had to openly publicize their participation in provoking the conflict. Over the course of one day on April 1-2, telephone conversations were held between the defense ministers and the presidents of Ukraine and the United States. In both cases, American partners pushed Kiev into a conflict with Moscow, promising not to leave Ukraine face to face with Russia.
Immediately after that, Kiev demanded joint exercises with NATO (so far the decision to hold them has not been made, but I think that the United States will try to push it through). Ukraine also informed the UN Security Council about the escalation on the line of contact in Donbass. This is done in order to shift the blame for the outbreak of the conflict onto Russia, so that one can say «we warned, [we] even appealed to the Security Council».
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine changed the legislation governing conscription, providing Zelensky with a formal opportunity to call up a million people who served in the army within 24 hours, at least half of whom have experience of fighting in the Donbass. Since Ukraine is not able to uniform, feed, arm so many people and form new units and formations from them, this means that the Ukrainian Armed Forces is provided with just as much cannon fodder as they can digest.
Also, Ukraine is constantly demonstratively transferring troops to the demarcation line and to the border with Russia. In some cases, we are talking about the planned rotation of formations in the conflict zone in the Donbass, but it is noteworthy that Kiev did not bother to refute the information of its own media about its strengthening of the groupings of troops on the border with Russia.
Moscow responded with an equally demonstrative transfer of troops in the area of the Ukrainian border. Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Defense was silent for a whole week before announcing that the troops were being transferred as part of planned exercises. Putin held a videoconference with Macron and Merkel during which the Russian position on the current crisis was communicated to France and Germany. Judging by their subsequent behavior, they were strongly advised to be quiet and not try to get involved in this conflict.
The Russian Foreign Minister held extensive and successful negotiations with China, including on the coordination of actions between Moscow and Beijing in response to Washington’s provocations, after which Russia and China simultaneously took a number of unpleasant measures to combat American censorship on the global Internet, as well as inflicted subtle but tangible blows on American trade and economic interests.
At the same time, high-ranking representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense visited a number of countries that are allied to Moscow and Beijing in Southeast Asia and held consultations with their Chinese colleagues, the content of which was not disclosed. By the way, the Chinese have long wanted to return Taiwan and do not rule out a military operation against the island Kuomintang allied to the Americans.
Three Russian submarines simultaneously surfaced in the Arctic, breaking the ice, and carried out successful training missile launches. This is nothing more than a demonstration to America of the possibility of delivering a massive nuclear strike against it from the most vulnerable direction. From the latter, echelons with troops and equipment moving in the direction of European Russia were marked in Siberia (the photos were posted on the Internet by people who accidentally witnessed the transfer of troops).
In Donetsk and Lugansk, decrees were issued on the first in the history of the people’s republics call for military service. This is more a demonstration than a real strengthening of the republics’ corps. But the decrees make it possible to simultaneously call ten ages at once, which will allow, if necessary, to increase the number of the armed forces of the republics two or three times. Since the DPR/LPR relies on the support of Russia, there should be no problems with the weapons and uniforms of such a number of people. Russian warehouses make it possible to arm and equip millions.
Moscow openly said and showed that it does not intend to retreat. I would like to stress once again that practically all preliminary diplomatic and political actions have been carried out on both sides. There is practically no room left for further pumping up tensions without a transition to open conflict. The maneuvers that can still be taken will not ease tensions in any way, and their potential will also be exhausted in the coming weeks.
The parties (this is not Ukraine and Donbass, but Russia and the United States) are in a situation of «who blinks first». In fact, the marasmic Biden administration implemented the declared by Hillary Clinton, during her 2016 presidential election campaign, the plan of nuclear blackmail of Russia. Then Hillary announced that she would demand concessions from Russia under the threat of a full-scale nuclear war. Now the United States is demonstrating its readiness in several steps to bring the crisis in Donbass to the level of direct military confrontation between Russia and the United States.
Why are they doing this? Because they have no other ways to defend their global hegemony, without which the United States, with one touch, turns into a weak and poor regional state, internally unstable and prone to disintegration (worse than Russia in the 90s). According to their own American calculations, within the next three to four years they should finally lose economic and political competition to Russia and China and lose even the theoretical possibility of winning a military conflict. Washington faces a dilemma: now or never.
Does this mean that war is inevitable? No. Its danger is very great. Moreover, there is a great risk of events spiraling out of control, especially given the inadequacy of the American administration. But, as mentioned above, politics does not imply an obligatory fatal development. There are always a lot of options for the development of the situation. For our situation, there are three main ones to avoid the worst:
- Someone will retreat without a war. For the retreating, this would mean a political catastrophe, but postponed. It will be imperceptible right away.
- A military crisis will begin and end too quickly for the United States to carry out its plan to transform the crisis into a European war. Roughly speaking, Ukraine will be destroyed so quickly that the Poles, Balts and other suicides for American interests, as well as the United States itself, will not have time to react, and then it will be too late.
- At some stage, there will be a gap in escalating the situation. Ukrainian leaders may never dare to cross the last line. After all, they have practically no chance of surviving, whatever the outcome of the conflict. Even if the United States sends a plane for them (which is unlikely), it simply will not reach Boryspil or leave the airspace of Ukraine. Russia can close the sky above the Ukraine at any moment. The East Europeans may not dare to be drawn into the conflict. It is one thing to “declare war on Russia” in your own media; it is quite another to do it in practice. You may not have time to go down to the bomb shelter. And it’s good if the paratroopers arrive to take prisoners, because missiles can arrive, which do not take prisoners, since they do not know how. Western Europe may take a tough stance. The United States is unlikely to risk bringing the conflict to an end if European allies refuse to support them, including prohibiting the Americans from conducting subversive activities against Russia from their territory. Western Europe is well aware of this unpleasant feeling when your city, your small well-groomed country is the target for soulless warheads capable of three times erasing it into radioactive dust. They want to live well, not die heroically for American hegemony. The fear of death can awaken in them the courage necessary to openly oppose the United States.
The weakness of all these options lies in one thing, we have to rely on the fact that someone else will make the right decision, since we ourselves can no longer retreat. But, as we can see, there are many options in which the fatal development of events can be interrupted.
Nevertheless, I have to state with sadness that in the fifty-five years I have lived, the world has never stood so close to war. We were closest (after the Caribbean crisis, which happened even before my birth) to the Third World War during the European missile crisis in the early 80s, when the United States deployed its medium-range missiles in Europe, and the Soviet RSD-10 Pioneer complexes (SS-20 according to the NATO classification) moved all the way into the GDR. The positional areas of nuclear missiles were located several tens of kilometers from each other (in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany), which means that any conflict with the use of conventional weapons threatened to turn into an exchange of nuclear strikes, because in the event of a breakthrough, the enemy was able to reach the missile positions in a day or two.
So, even then the situation was better, since the Americans, although infected with cowboy style, were generally sane, they did not want war and the dialogue was going on. Now we (and the whole world) are dealing with inadequate people in Washington for whom the future peace is worse than war. Moreover, they believe that the war can still be won and are not ready to talk to anyone about a compromise, demanding unilateral concessions.
And yet we have a chance. Most people (Americans are no exception) want to live. The senile Biden’s junta, which has seized the White House, is not omnipotent. It can also be stopped by joint efforts.
Rostislav Ischenko, 04.04.2021 / Source