Will Russia Be a Victim of Her Own Good Intentions?
Paul Craig Roberts
The Kremlin set out to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine with a minimum of civilian casualties. No American style “shock and awe.” When the Ukrainian militias heard this, they knew what to do. They located themselves and their heavy weapons in the middle of civilian populations. From there they can fire on the Russians without receiving fire in return.
War is Hell. The Russians’ attempt to fight a war without the Hell is not working for them. They get no credit for the attempt. The Western media is full of atrocity stories. Here is a sample from an Associated Press report today:
“A pregnant woman who became a symbol of Ukraine’s suffering when she was photographed being carried from a bombed maternity hospital in Mariupol has died along with her baby, the Associated Press has learned. Images of the woman being rushed to an ambulance on a stretcher had circled the world, epitomizing the horror of an attack on humanity’s most innocent.” https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-5229ea0b8bb56c10462ee0e00df61116
The Russians are even said to be the ones shelling the humanitarian corridors established to allow civilians out of the surrounded cities. The horror is everywhere. Millions have fled their homes “with more than 2.8 million crossing into Poland and other neighboring countries in what the U.N. refugee agency has called Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.”
Yes, the AP reporters are too stupid to notice the inconsistency. If Ukrainian civilians cannot get out of the surrounded cities, how did 2.8 million of them flee Ukraine?
As the purpose of “news reporting” is to demonize Russia and Putin, inconsistencies don’t matter any more than do facts.
It was obvious that the go-slow military intervention was a blunder of the first order. What Russia needed was a lightening quick victory in 48 hours. This would have foreclosed the psyops campaign to demonize Russia and to present the Russian military as a less capable force to which even Ukraine can resist. The AP reports that the Russian force has “faced stiffer than expected resistance” and frustrated with their slow advance “have bombarded several cities with unrelenting shelling, hitting two dozen medical facilities and a large number of apartment buildings.”
Yesterday the UK Sunday Times raised the question whether Putin and Russia will lose the war with Ukraine. The opening paragraph reads: “With Russian forces frustrated on all fronts and Ukrainians refusing to buckle in the face of savage bombardments of their cities, more and more people are wondering what once seemed inconceivable: might the Ukrainians actually be able to win?” The Sunday Times quotes the chief of the UK defense staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin who “noted last week that as Russia’s advance forces were being ‘decimated,’ it was no longer inevitable they would win even that first battlefield victory.” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/as-russias-might-sinks-into-the-mire-could-putin-actually-lose-hjq0fqdsw
The Sunday Times goes on to claim that the Russians have suffered 5,000 casualties in two weeks, more casualties than she suffered in three full years of war in Afghanistan, and suggests that Ukraine will be another Afghanistan for Russia, defeat after ten years of fighting and a demoralized army.
The picture is painted of Russian military disarray with the AP reporting falsely that Russia has asked China for the equipment to continue the war and is down to having to use “undertrained conscripts and over-age reservists, neither of whom want to be there,” and thus Russia is “having to contend with a growing morale problem.”
According to the Sunday Times, the Russian army is falling apart:
“There have been desertions and surrenders, tanks towed away by Ukrainian farmers when their crews simply abandoned them, soldiers sabotaging their vehicles, puncturing fuel drums and emptying tanks, simply to ensure they could not follow their orders.
“A disciplined army can unravel terrifyingly quickly in the right conditions. There has been footage of Russian soldiers more intent on looting than fighting, simply because they have run out of rations. If field commanders lose their authority or their morale, whole units may start falling apart.”
The Sunday Times wonders if the failing Russian forces will cause Putin “to up the stakes and use chemical weapons – when you have already committed one war crime, it’s easier to contemplate another – to try to break Ukrainian resistance.”
Andrei Martyanov and The Saker are correct to label the Western “news reports” pure fiction. But I was correct when I said the limited Russian operation would allow the West to control the narrative which would be entirely to Russia’s disadvantage. Not only is Russia being blackened and hatred instilled against Russians, but also a military operation that could have stopped Western provocations and even broken up NATO by demonstrating overwhelming force and power has instead resulted in Russia coming across as a less capable force that the West can continue to antagonize.
And the West is not only continuing its provocations, it is upscaling them. The Kremlin should have seen it coming when the West went for a color revolution in Kazakhstan in the midst of the security talks with Russia. Two days ago Georgia’s ministry of defense announced that Georgia and NATO will be conducting joint military exercises during March 20-25.
If Russia had taken Ukraine out in 48 hours, how likely is it that this exercise would be held? The Kremlin is as opposed to NATO membership for Georgia as the Kremlin is for Ukraine. Will Russia now have to go through another cleansing operation?
It would have been so much better for Russia and for our chances of avoiding nuclear war if Russia had demonstrated intimidating power that would have made Europe too fearful to continue enabling Washington’s provocations of Russia. Instead, we are to have another provocation before the Kremlin can deal with the one at hand.
Will the Kremlin and the Russian people ever understand that what they face is a war of annihilation? https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/twice-in-a-century-russia-faces-a-war-of-annihilation/ Unless this war is discouraged at an early stage, it will end in nuclear armageddon. When we have Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham supporting Biden’s de facto war against Russia and calling for Russian generals to shoot Putin in the head, we can see how easily the blind and ignorant hatred of Russians that the West has succeeded in creating can easily defeat reason and destroy the world.
Ukraine was an opportunity for Russia to discourage provocations that will eventually end in World War III. The Kremlin let the opportunity pass. Now the Kremlin will be provoked again in Georgia and then again in Finland, and then again, and again. As Russia will never be loved, she and world peace would be well served if she were feared,