And I, quite clearly was not. I was under the impression that Russia was content to permit Ukraine to keep running its “Russia is going to attack, send us money and arms that we can sell on the black market” grift while making serious bank on the rising oil and natural gas prices as long as the globohomo governments were willing to fund it. But what I failed to account for was the active threat that was being posed by the Ukrainian forces with their constant attacks on the two Donbass republics, or the significance of the civilian evacuations there.
To his credit, the Saker saw the Russian operation coming the day before it happened.
Until the time of writing this, the Ukronazis have continued shelling and shooting, but there has been no fullscale ground attack (yet!). The Ukie special services have sent a few diversionary groups into the LDNR and even into a small strip of Russian land. These groups were detected and intercepted by the Russian Border Guards. The Ukies tried to send a BMP few infantry fighting vehicle to rescue their soliders only to have them destroyed by the Russian military’s anti-tank weapons.
Today the Ukies continued to direct their artillery attacks and diversionary groups at the LDNR. Water and electricity are off in some parts of the LDNR. People are still dying every day and there is no signs of the Ukie bombardments abating. Especially violent combats are taking place near the town of Nikolaevka.
The Ukies have also declared a state of emergency (to be approved by the Rada) and are now making more and more noises about re-arming themselves with nuclear weapons. Smart move when Putin says that the Ukraine must be disarmed… Frankly, I think that the Ukies are terrified.
I know I sure would if I was in their place.
They cannot simply retreat, there is no way Ze can order that and not be overthrown.
They cannot attack because now it is too late, all these force comparisons between the Banderastani forces and the LDNR forces have become, if not irrelevant, than at least a lot less relevant now that Putin has basically prepared both the military and the legal conditions necessary for any kind of Russian military operation, from strikes with standoff weapons, to a ground and/or amphibious assault. All he has to do now is say “go”. Judging by his tone yesterday, not only do I feel that he is willing to give that order, but I also think that he has accepted that this is the “least bad” option for Russia and the LDNR.
Again, Putin said that he fully intends to disarm the Ukraine, at least from all her heavy weapons. Since the Ukies won’t give them up, I see only one way to achieve this: disarm them by force.
So, in one way or another, I expect major combat action in the Eastern Ukraine in the next couple of days.
Keep in mind that the West’s response to Putin’s words and actions only serve to further convince Russia that 1) more sanctions and subversion is inevitable 2) violence is unavoidable.
Remember these famous words by Putin: “Fifty years ago, the streets of Leningrad taught me one thing: If a fight’s inevitable, you must strike first“?
It appears to me that the Kremlin has concluded that a violent fight is, indeed, inevitable. You figure out the rest 🙂
So where do we go from here?
I would say that major combat operations against the Ukie forces in the LDNR republics are probably inevitable and, barring some last minute miracle, the Russians will soon disarm a good part of the Ukie forces. Remember that Putin specifically added the disarmament of the Ukraine as one of his demands.
Does anybody think that anybody can stop the disarmament (we are talking about major weapon systems, not AKs) of the Ukraine by Russia in the near/middle term?
Next, I think that Putin will successfully impose all his demands upon the Ukraine, which means two things:
The Kiev regime will collapse, at least de facto. The rest of Banderastan will eventually break-up into different regimes and successor states.
It will remain to be seen how extensive the Russian operation – which, contra the mainstream media reports, is clearly not “a full-scale invasion” yet – turns out to be. However, I am very, very dubious that NATO, the USA, or any European government is going to send any troops to Ukraine, because that would not only guarantee the very full-scale invasion it was supposed to prevent, but increase the risk of Russia declaring war on the governments responsible.
That being said, the Saker was correct about the timing of the operation and its focus on disarming the Ukrainian forces. So, perhaps he is correct about the US/NATO being foolish enough to attempt a military intervention. Regardless, I think he is absolutely right about the threat that the Russian demonstration of force poses to the existence of NATO, and perhaps even the EU as well.
I think that there is a high probability that the US/NATO will move some forces into western Ukraine, to “protect their people and infrastructure” in and around Lvov, and to declare that “their show of unity and determination stopped Russia from invading the entire Ukraine”. I don’t think that Russia will object too much against any NATO move inside and limited to the Lvov/Ivano-Frankovsk region. These are not historically Russian lands and they are basically irrelevant to Russia.
If the US wants to Poles to oppress the Ukronazis in their own western Ukraine, nobody in Russia will care.
As for the West, to take credit for a defeat is a long US/NATO tradition, so such an operation can be used to save NATO’s face.
But that won’t be enough.
The West has already been beaten politically, and now a military defeat of some kind is probably inevitable.
I am not talking about an invasion of the entire Ukraine (God forbid!) but it will be clear to all that the Russian bear forced NATO to retreat, politically and militarily. The Anglos are too smart to volunteer for a war with Russia. The Polaks are, as always, only hiding behind the backs of their latest masters. The Balts are irrelevant.
So the only option is to fight the Russians down the the last Ukrainian and when that happens, it might not be an “NATO defeat” legally speaking, but like on 08.08.08 it will be a crushing defeat for NATO publicly. Maybe not as bad as Kabul, but much worse than Georgia in 08.08.08.
At that point, a lot of folks will be wondering if NATO is worth the money spent on. And once that process begins, there will be no stopping it.