The Destiny of Russia at war

 War tends to shake or shatter assumptions, each day making the previous day’s speculations obsolete. Still, I will finish this quick post with some ruminations about what may come next.

 But first, let’s go back – way back – 6 weeks or so to this posting from the Institute for the Study of War November 12, just after Russian forces performed their humiliating retreat from Kherson. 

“Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson City is igniting an ideological fracture between pro-war figures and Russian President Vladimir Putin, eroding confidence in Putin’s commitment and ability to deliver his war promises. A pro-war Russian ideologist, Alexander Dugin, openly criticized Putin—whom he referred to as the autocrat—for failing to uphold Russian ideology by surrendering Kherson City on November 12.[1] Dugin said this Russian ideology defines Russia’s responsibility to defend “Russian cities” such as Kherson, Belgorod, Kursk, Donetsk, and Simferopol. Dugin noted that an autocrat has a responsibility to save his nation all by himself or face the fate of “king of the rains,” a reference to Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough in which a king was killed because he was unable to deliver rain amidst a drought. Dugin also downplayed the role of Putin’s advisors in failing to protect the Russian world and noted that the commander of Russian Forces in Ukraine, Army General Sergey Surovikin was not responsible for the political decision to withdraw from Kherson City. Dugin noted that the autocrat cannot repair this deviation from ideology merely with public appearances, noting that “the authorities in Russia cannot surrender anything else” and that “the limit has been reached.”

The entire Russian Nationalism ideology pushed by A. Dugin and so many of the bombastic elements now threatening Putin’s right is an assertion that Ukrainians are just Russians who have been suckered into a delusion of nationhood and who will be much happier once they snap out of it, after being forcefully brought back into the embrace of the czar. 

Well, first it was never true, Second, even the extreme russo-chauvinist (and earlier courageous anti Stalinist) Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote in THE FIRST CIRCLE that the goal of establishing Ukrainian sense-of-russianess will never be achieved ‘forcefully.’ Indeed any attempt at force will drive Ukrainians further away.

Indeed, pragmatically, if Ukrainian sense of nationhood was at all weak before this war, this war has cemented their sense of identity like nothing else could. Even if RF forces plowed all the way way to the Polish border, all they would win for themselves is the agony of an endless partisan war of liberation and hate that would last until the invaders were ejected and reparations paid. After which, the ill will would take many decades to subside.

The PRAGMATIC EFFECTS are as important as any of Dugin’s et. al. ideological incantations. Those effects so far are making every Putin pretext for war (mostly lies beforehand) more real, not less, every day. 

These effects include a vast strengthening of NATO, a weakening of Moscow’s western sock-puppets, a radical invigoration of America’s defender caste…

…and the absolute determination of a now unified Ukrainian people to never again be ruled by Moscow, even if it means marching there to insist. 

These (and others cited below) are not the outcomes wrought by a ‘chessmaster’ who Donald Trump called ‘very smart.’ They are the outcomes of a gambling addict ruled by wishful thinking. And especially by the recurring fantasy that “rich Americans and Westerners are decadent softies, easily intimidated” and that citizens or Kharkiv and Kyiv lack the spine to outlast a little bit of cold.

Those delusions are being disproved, once again.

But what would be the best possible outcome for the world and human destiny?

That will be if some FSB(KGB) guy calculates the value of the blackmail files they are using to control 100+ orgy-party traitors in DC, (as alluded by Madison Cawthorne) and offers those files (maybe to Soros) in exchange for a private island somewhere… or else JoBee takes my advice and breaks up the ring at our end, with clemency offers. See Political Blackmail: The Hidden Danger to Public Servants.

== Other Putin Self-fulfilling prohecies ==

We have some pretty good leaders, now… though dunces at the art of polemic. I wrote POLEMICAL JUDO because the battlefield of memes and facts may be one of the most important in this struggle to save and advance enlightenment civilization. So let me offer some riffs regarding Ukraine that might resonate as pithy and memorable … and that you have likely never heard said as clearly, by any of our paladins out there. I couch them as TAUNTS aimed at the god-emperor of the Foxite right, Vladimir Putin. (And yes, taunts are what get through to MAGAS, like it or not.):

Hey Vlad, you have truly changed the world in your image. We spoke (above) about your effect on Ukrainian national self-identity. But that’s not all you have accomplished!

1. Justifying your buildup to war, you lied about NATO gathering forces against Russia. In fact, the alliance had been badly shredded by Trump. Only now? You MADE IT TRUE, as NATO grows and girds itself into a truly mighty force. You made the real world become more like the fake image you yowled! That (I admit) is power.

2. Back in 2021, your forces, at your borders, looked formidable and, despite your cries of imminent invasion by enemies, no one on Earth wanted to fight them. Now you’ve stripped every Russian border to the west and south and east. What’s left is a potemkin farce. The world knows a pack of Polish cub scouts could march to Minsk, collecting disgruntled Belarus soldiers along the way, and then march onward. Stripping those borders proves you never feared NATO invasion at all. And you still don’t! Because we have things called laws, that protect you, so far. But you are going out of your way to tempt us with thoughts we never had before.

You made the real world become more like the fake image you bemoaned!

3. You feared Europe would free itself of your oil and gas. You are making your fear come true.

You wanted the Dnieper gas fields for Russia, not Ukraine. Now they will burgeon for Ukraine.

4. You raved about ‘nazis.’ Now everything your oligarchy does is fascist, while Ukrainian confidence in their mature, democratic institutions grows daily. Especially, the corruption that Zelensky was elected to eliminate is almost gone from Ukraine as they fight for their lives. You do see fascism amid a sewer of corruption… in the mirror.

==The one way out of this mess ==

There is only one way out. To waken the mesmerized Russian citizenry, whose stolid reflex is to rally behind and believe their Strong Man. So, let’s invite 1000 of them – chosen at random from old utility bills in all provinces – to come investigate claims of Ukrainian ‘nazis’ and to ask citizens of blasted Ukrainian cities if they will ever view themselves as “russian.” Have them join commissioners from Ukraine and developing nations, tallying war crimes and interviewing front line troops at random locations on both sides. 

Don’t fret the expense! Because – in fact – Putin won’t allow this to actually happen. He can’t.

And THAT is the way out. Cornering and showing VP unwilling to trust his own people with in-person truth seeking. THAT fact will be one he cannot hide. And it will be his undoing.

Otherwise, the Russian populace with their tradition of out-suffering their enemies, will slog after him and his pet milbloggers straight into hell.

== a final speculation ==

Shall we believe ISW? 

Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Chief Kyrylo Budanov stated that fighting in Ukraine is in a deadlock on December 29. In an interview with BBC, Budanov stated that “the situation is just stuck” and that both Russian and Ukrainian troops lack the resources or ability to move forward.” 

Sorry, I don’t believe it. This armchair general thinks (or rather speculates) otherwise. 

Instead I expect both sides are right now awaiting frozen rivers, which will enhance mobility…

… and dense fog, in order to blind the other side’s drones and sensors and vision. 

One side likely thinks that general obscurity will blind spy satellites, drones and manpads, thus enabling a massive tank-and-foot groping-forward assault, like in the December 1944 Ardennes Offensive. 

The other may believe they can see through fog. Especially with systems provided by allies. In which case, we may see a particular tool-of-rapid-maneuver employed meaningfully for the first time in this struggle.

I guess we’ll see if I’m just waving a sci fi what-if. As if my speculations matter an iota in a world whose future is being forged by villains and heroes.

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