We maybe should start by looking at the long-stated offensive position of Russia itself, that Ukraine is not a country.
It’s a variation of the offensive position of the Russian leader that wives and children aren’t people.
…domestic violence have increased by 133% in Yekaterinburg – the fourth largest city in Russia – after President Putin approved a law that reduces punishments for spousal or child abuse…
The operative question with Ukraine thus becomes why are Russians being told to shoot at themselves.
Russian leaders painted their own objectives as a morale-deflating act of abuse and self-harm, like saying a shoe is not a foot right before ordering soldiers shoot their own foot in a shoe.
Mama, I’m in Ukraine. There is a real war raging here. I’m afraid. We are bombing all of the cities…even targeting civilians.
We should not underestimate massive levels of suffering that can be caused from abuse and gross negligence and incompetence, yet also we should no lose sight of the fact that Russia is failing on basically every level.
“The Russians have been frustrated. They have been slowed. They have been stymied, and they have been resisted by Ukrainians, and to some degree, they’ve done it to themselves in terms of their fuel and logistics and sustainment problems,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to brief reporters.
The most important part of that analysis comes in a follow-up sentence, which I want to hold out and highlight here.
But as I said earlier, we would expect them to learn from these issues and adapt to them and try to overcome them. So I think we all need to be very sober here. in recognizing that this is combat, and combat is ugly, it’s messy, it’s bloody, and it’s not wholly predictable.
That sounds like the seasoned voice of an expert. However, they are giving too much credit.
Expecting Russians to learn from issues and adapt to overcome begs a question of why? Why would Russians still have that capability? The nature of their dictatorship is that any ability to learn, adapt and overcome is a direct threat to the power of a ruthless leadership.
Ugly, messy, bloody and unpredictable stands to reason. Copying and conforming, even repeating past mistakes seems likely. Adapting by learning? Unlikely.
One defender taking out an entire Russian column by attacking it from behind… Russia is displaying high levels of battle-field incompetence.
Russian armor running out of gas while lost goes even higher to a Nazi-level of incompetence (which I’ve written about extensively before in terms of innovation and operations failures that nonetheless drag out suffering for years).
In other words, Russia has spent decades murdering anyone genuinely capable of overcoming obstacles because allowing such skills in their ranks would have meant Putin (the biggest obstacle of all) was threatened.
Another reminder that Putin legalized physical abuse of wives and children, with estimates of at least 14,000 dead each year as a result.
That’s the elephant in the war room right now. If someone in Russia (let’s say just for argument a group of their colonels invoking colonel Oleg Penkovsky) genuinely sees that Russia has “done it to themselves” by exhibiting incompetence in the field, would they be able to push out Putin?
From there it stands to reason Russian Generals are used to plodding along without any real opposition, using aging technology, weak infrastructure, economic failures (mostly corrupt) and lack of will.
A dozen Russian tanks were seen just before the invasion of Ukraine stuck in mud and earlier many were burned out from inexpensive drones… foreshadowing an ease of counterattacks and the “logistics” obstacles for Russia.
This brings to mind June 1941 when Hitler thought he could push 80% of the Nazi Army (where 75% of that depended on horses) through Eastern Europe to seize Moscow in just three months.
Four months later the Operation was stalling so a new Operation Typhoon was initiated and quickly turned to disaster, halted by the elements.
…as they reached the approaches to Moscow, the German formations slowed to a crawl. Autumn rains had turned the dirt roads into rivers of mud. It was the Rasputitsa – the ‘quagmire season’ – and wheeled and horse-drawn transport became hopelessly stuck. The Germans chose to temporarily halt operations.
That didn’t stop the Nazis however from being immoral mass-murderers committing war crimes.
Approximately 2.8 million Soviet POWs were killed by the German armed forces and other special units between June 1941 and February 1942, mainly through deliberate starvation and exposure to the elements. It was one of the most shocking acts of human atrocity in history.
We must now watch for any indication that Russia won’t benefit from a colonel awakening and resistance (e.g. 1974 Portugal or even Algeria’s 1961 failed putsch) and instead will turn far more punitive and hateful (e.g. killing fields and death camps of Nazi Germany starting in 1942 when it was abundantly clear Hitler was incompetent and couldn’t win any war).
Losing the civil war he started is how things look right now for a rapidly weakening Russian leader (different from Aleppo or Grozny), begging the question of how he may lash out at the most vulnerable in a ruthless and desperate quest for a feeling of power.
- February 27, 2022 “Fundraising appeals launched for Ukraine“
- February 10, 2022 “Russian tanks defeated by the elements“
- September 17, 2021 “Bayraktar Akıncı Flying Tank Destroyer Has Arrived …perfect system to annihilate entire armoured columns in just one sortie” (88 T-72 destroyed)
- January 24, 2020 “Do you think Americans care about f…ing Ukraine?” (U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo)
- December 15, 2016 “Putin Is Doing to Aleppo What He Did to Grozny: Flatten the Place“