A Large War in Europe Is Now the Most Probable Outcome

"There will not be further strategic warning ahead of an offensive."

A large war in Europe is likely in the coming weeks. The current security architecture of the continent, the future of NATO, and America’s role in shaping security outcomes there are all at stake. Beyond Europe, this conflict would have profound implications for U.S. defense strategy, and may upset America’s best-laid plans to focus on the eroding military balance with China. Ukraine, whose fate hangs in the balance, may be at the center of the crisis, but Moscow has a greater goal in mind: the revision of Europe’s security order. The Russian armed forces have conducted a substantial buildup around Ukraine, with Moscow threatening unilateral military measures if it is not able to achieve its goals at the negotiating table. President Vladimir Putin has been coy, but the threat is use of force on a large scale against Ukraine, including the possibility of regime change. Even if force does not get Moscow any closer to the wide-reaching concessions that it seeks from the West, Russia’s leadership likely judges that it will secure its influence in the country, deny Ukraine any hope of getting into NATO, and end NATO’s defense cooperation with Ukraine.

The unfolding events of the past year and the crescendo of the current crisis have been widely interpreted as a classic case of coercive diplomacy: threats, signals, and demands backed by a show of capability and resolve. However, it is more likely that Moscow was leaning towards a military solution. Russia’s diplomatic overture offered few prospects for success at the negotiating table. There is an eerie calm as Russian forces continue to position equipment and units around Ukraine. At this stage, Russia’s military retains operational surprise and could launch an assault on short notice. There will not be further strategic warning ahead of an offensive.

Prediction is always a fraught business, but it seems plausible that Russian forces would seize Ukraine’s eastern regions, as well as the southern port city of Odessa, and encircle Kyiv. The Russian goal would be regime change, perhaps via constitutional reform, and a settlement that would secure Russian influence over Ukraine. From a position of leverage, Russia would try to attain a U.S. commitment to give it a free hand in this part of eastern Europe. With Belarus firmly in Russia’s orbit, Moscow is eyeing using force to change Ukraine’s strategic orientation in an effort to create its own cordon against Western influence. An expanded invasion of Ukraine may not herald a prolonged occupation, but Russia appears prepared for that contingency. Russian force posture can enable a range of choices, but it is difficult to see how Moscow accomplishes any lasting political gains without having to resort to maximalist options.

How to Interpret Russian Demands

This crisis is not about NATO or Ukraine, but about NATO and Ukraine. Russia wants Washington to agree to a revised European order in which Russia has a veto over security arrangements and in decisions over security outcomes. By closing NATO’s open door, and halting defense cooperation with non-members, Washington would be acknowledging that Moscow’s security considerations supersede the right of its neighbors to choose their strategic orientation, and that security in Europe must be negotiated with Moscow.

Yet Russian demands for legally binding guarantees raise questions. On the one hand, Putin has railed against successive rounds of NATO expansion, encroaching military infrastructure, military exercises, and defense cooperation with countries like Ukraine. But he has also said that he does not believe in U.S. security assurances, and according to him Washington easily withdraws from treaties with or without explanation. So, why pursue such agreements with urgency when he believes that Washington may just bin them one day anyway?

There is also the nagging problem that no U.S. Congress, or any legislature in Europe, is likely to ratify a legally binding agreement with Russia based on such demands. Perhaps Moscow still assesses that the United States and its European allies might sign politically binding agreements that fall short of a treaty. While not legally binding, such agreements would hold strategic implications for European countries that are not NATO members. Those states would find their room for maneuver shrinking and would seek to hedge or to pursue a foreign policy that includes balancing relations between Europe and Russia.

Russia’s demands for a halt to NATO expansion, a rollback of defense cooperation with non-NATO members, and a return to force posture prior to 1997 (essentially a “go back to Germany” clause) seem to have little relationship to the deadlock over Minsk II implementation. These demands won’t secure a say over Ukraine’s domestic policy, or even get Russia out of the current sanctions regime. Furthermore, why didn’t Moscow make any of these demands during the spring buildup? The timing was no less auspicious. Why wait until the end of 2021 to come up with rushed proposals and demand rapid progress?

The diplomatic effort appears improvised, while the central demands were obvious non-starters for the West. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, often the last to know what is happening, was unsurprisingly surprised to find out it that was supposed to be coming up with these draft treaties in late December. Moscow has not only been asking for things that it knows it cannot attain, but it has been doing so in a manner that will ensure that it cannot attain them. Serious negotiations are usually done behind closed doors. By publicizing its demands and refusing to unbundle them in ways that might achieve compromise, Russia has made its diplomatic effort appear more performative than genuine.

Perhaps Moscow is just fishing for what it can get, but the political demands do not align with the military side of the equation. Settling for minor modifications to the already existing strategic stability agenda would appear to be a political retreat after releasing such ostentatious demands. Persistent references to internal time constraints, demanding “answers urgently,” suggest that Putin has been leaning towards using force all along. At Geneva, it became clear that Moscow views U.S. counteroffers for an expanded strategic stability agenda with much lower significance than its irreconcilable demands.

A dramatic expansion of the war is now the most probable outcome. In the spring the Russian leadership issued red lines, but if they really were interested in deterring an expansion of U.S. defense cooperation then such a demand would have been made at the June presidential summit, and they would have given the effort a bit longer than a few months to produce results.

Putin may see diplomacy as a last-ditch effort to avert war, but Russia’s posture suggests that he is leaning towards a unilateral solution. While some commentators may view this as a bluff, it is hard to see how Putin imagined bluffing his way to a wholesale revision of Europe’s security architecture.

Why Now?

There are two overlapping issues: The first is Ukraine, where Russia desires to have a firm say over its foreign policy as well as aspects of its internal governance. [It wants the country’s Russian speakers be given the weight they deserve.] The second is to block further NATO expansion and to roll back Ukrainian defense cooperation with NATO members. Moscow perceives its strategy in Ukraine as having generally failed, with diplomacy over the Minsk ceasefire agreement at a deadlock, while Ukraine is increasingly treated as a de facto NATO member. In statementsessays, and articles, Russian leaders have made clear over the course of 2021 that they believe that Ukraine and its territory are being used as an instrument against Russia by the United States, and if they cannot compel a policy reversal, they will seek military solutionsAs Putin said in December, “if our Western colleagues continue their obviously aggressive line, we will take appropriate military-technical reciprocal measures and will have a tough response to their unfriendly steps.” What is remarkable about this crisis is how well it has been signposted over the course of 2021, with Russian political statements and military activity in close alignment.

Although the crisis has structural roots in the post-Cold War settlement, the proximate cause of this standoff is a series of political turns in 2020 and early 2021. After initially being open to dialogue, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration took a hard turn away from pursuing compromises with Moscow. Zelensky arrested Putin’s ally Viktor Medvedchuk and banned three pro-Russian television channels in the country. Putin has also railed against a discriminatory language law passed in 2019, which has just entered into force. Not only has Ukraine continued on a westward trajectory, but Zelensky has also chosen to take a hard line, and has begun to actively eliminate Russian influence in Ukraine. This turnabout dashed any hopes that Russia had of achieving a desirable political settlement and removed a path for Russia to get out from under Western sanctions. Russian officials have publicly made clear that they see no further point to negotiating with Zelensky, viewing his administration as a marionette of the United States, and have instead approached his patron — Washington.

European capitals and Washington have backed Ukraine’s position. Moscow is thus faced with a choice between accepting that Ukraine is slipping away, or escalation. Moscow judges that it has to act in order to prevent a fixed reorientation of the country and the destruction of the key pillars of its influence. Among Putin’s grievances is the belief that Ukraine will become a platform for U.S. power projection along Russia’s southwestern flank and he cannot tolerate this prospect (recalling Moscow’s fears that led it to invade Afghanistan). Last fall he remarked “what if tomorrow there are missiles near Kharkov — what should we do then? We do not go there with our missiles — but missiles are being brought to our doorstep. Of course, we have a problem here.” Whether genuine, or instrumental, Russia’s leadership have often used this threat to link Ukraine to broader grievances on European security.

Washington’s effort to launch a strategic stability dialogue has also played a role. The Biden administration sought predictability in the relationship, perhaps so it could focus on China and pressing domestic concerns. The administration was right to launch this initiative and see if Moscow was willing to engage, but as Oscar Wilde quipped, “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” Moscow has now made clear what the price of predictability in relations is, and it is clearly one that the United States is unwilling to pay. Given that Washington has signaled that it sees Europe as a secondary theater, the price Russia would ask was inevitably going to be high.

Russia’s elite may believe that they are in a good position to conduct a military operation and weather the storm of Western economic punishment. Having stabilized the Russian economy, established a war chest of reserves (over $620 billion), and tightened the screws on its opposition, the regime is more confident economically and politically. Moscow has greater leverage over Europe due to surging gas prices and energy supply shortages. Putin might also judge that the Biden administration is reticent about enacting the most severe financial sanctions in its arsenal because these would cause ripples in the global financial system, a rise in U.S. gasoline prices, not to mention the impact on energy prices in Europe.

It also merits considering that Russian assumptions may be colored by war optimism.  Moscow might believe that much of the Ukrainian public quietly holds pro-Russian attitudes and Russian forces might be greeted as liberators. Russian elites see Ukraine as a manipulable oligarchy with corrupt elites. Such assumptions and narratives run deep in Putin’s statements and writings. The Russian elite is deeply chauvinistic and has little regard for Ukrainian military capabilities. Moscow may judge the use of force to be preferable relative to the mounting costs of inaction, and the potential risks of having to use force later. Leaders talk themselves into war, imagining that the situation is imposed upon them and rationalizing that a conflict is inevitable so it is better to fight now than later. Russia would not be the first country to invade another, misjudging the socio-political dynamics, and the costs of occupation.

Can Putin Back Down?

The United States and its allies have made clear that while they are willing to discuss an expanded strategic stability agenda, they will not shut NATO’s open door, constrain military cooperation with non-member states, remove military forces and infrastructure from the territory of NATO members who have joined since 1997, or compel Ukraine to accept a form of neutrality. While a discussion on future missile placement, mutual reductions in military activity, and other measures might count as a diplomatic success for Moscow, it is unlikely that this is enough to satisfy Putin. If it were, why has he not pocketed the deal already?

After the meeting in Geneva, the United States was unable to determine if the Russian diplomatic effort was genuine or cover for a planned military operation. The head of Russia’s delegation, Sergey Ryabkov, didn’t appear to know either.

It is doubtful that the Russian leadership can back down without external and internal audience costs. Over the past month, the West has also been arming Ukraine in anticipation of a Russian attack, hardly a policy success for Moscow. If Putin backs down with nothing, the domestic and international perception will be that he was either bluffing or, even worse, was successfully deterred. Putin will end up with the worst of both worlds, seen as simultaneously aggressive and resistible. Also, while an authoritarian state may care less about domestic audience perceptions, the elites, or the so-called “selectorate,” are another matter. Authoritarian leaders like Putin can find their ability to manage political coalitions diminished if elites perceive them as reckless, incompetent, and increasingly unfit to rule. Putin certainly has options, but this is not a contest in which he can afford to back down cost-free.

A More Dangerous Mobilization

While the military deployment may appear overly visible, lacking in initiative or surprise, in fact the opposite is true. Russia is indeed assembling this force in a manner designed to conceal its operational aims. To some extent it retains surprise and initiative. The Russian military is deploying a large force slowly, and deliberately, with equipment that can be parked in the field for months. Troops can be quickly sent to these encampments, fall in on equipment, and begin dispersing. This conceals the final disposition of forces, and the timing and scope of an operation. With large numbers of Russian forces having arrived in Belarus, and more on the way, a large-scale military operation in the coming weeks seems probable.

Ukraine finds itself in a mobilization trap. Kyiv might be reluctant to conduct large force shifts — if Moscow is spoiling for a fight, then a mobilization order could be used as a pretext by the Russian leadership, claiming that Ukraine intends to retake the Donbas by force. It is also expensive and economically disruptive. Yet on the brink of all-out war, the calm among Ukrainian elites is jarring. Rumors swirl that Zelensky thinks that this is a bluff, and even believes that the United States is exaggerating the threat intentionally to force him into concessions. Ukraine’s leadership appears to be more worried about the impact that this threat has on the economy and public sentiments, than about preparing the nation for the war. 

Since 2014, the Russian military has shifted formations to Ukraine’s borders, resulting in roughly 55,000 to 60,000 ground troops permanently stationed in the region (a 250 to 300-kilometer range). The forces normally stationed on Ukraine’s border can generate about 25 to 30 battalion tactical groups and the forces that have been mobilized in recent months to join them represent another 35 to 40 battalion tactical groups. Recently arrived forces from the Eastern Military District might bring this figure to a total of 65 to 70. A battalion tactical group is a task-organized combined-arms maneuver formation, averaging 800 personnel per unit (though it can be as small as 600 and as large as 1,000). It is essentially a battalion plus enablers such as artillery, logistics, and air defense. These formations are an imprecise but useful unit of measurement when talking about Russian offensive maneuver potential.

Total estimated end strength is therefore already north of 90,000 personnel. These figures do not include airpower, naval units, or additional logistical components that are likely to support this force. Russian-led forces in Ukraine’s Donbas region might account for another 15,000 troops, but they have considerably lower combat effectiveness than Russian regulars.

The force gathered from other Russian regions largely consists of prepositioned equipment, but it is already sufficient for a military operation. There are indications that Russia has begun sending personnel. The current force is largely within the self-deployment range, which means they can move to the border in a matter of days once personnel arrive. Russia retains considerable force-generation potential and can surge units to the area on relatively short notice. Publicly available estimates suggest Moscow might gather a force of 90 to 100 battalion tactical groups, together with reserves, and auxiliary forces for a total of 150,000 to 175,000 troops. The Russian military is not yet in position for such a largescale operation, but it could have the requisite forces and elements placed in the coming weeks.

What are Russia’s Options?

A Russian military campaign could range from standoff strikes to a largescale invasion of Ukraine’s eastern regions, the encirclement of Kyiv, and the taking of Odessa along the coast. The question is not what Russia can do militarily in Ukraine, since the answer is almost anything, but what kind of operation might attain lasting political gains. Consequently, most scenarios seem illogical and politically counterproductive.

Given the stakes, and likely costs, any Russian military operation would have to attain political gains that give Moscow the ability to enforce implementation. In short, just hurting Ukraine is not enough to achieve anything that Russia wants. While some believe that Russia intends to compel Ukraine into a new Minsk-like agreement, the reality is that nobody in Moscow thinks that a Ukrainian government can be made to implement any document they sign. Such a settlement would be political suicide for the Zelensky administration, or any other. Russia has no way to enforce compliance with its preferences once the operation is over. This is, at least, the lesson that Moscow seems to have taken from Minsk I and Minsk II. Why would Minsk III prove any different? Russia has not struggled in getting Ukraine to sign deals at gunpoint, but all of these have resulted in Ukraine’s continued westward march and a decline of Russian influence in the country. It’s not clear how Moscow achieves its goals without conducting regime change, or a partitioning of the state, and committing to some form of occupation to retain leverage.

Those who think that Russia might simply conduct an airstrike campaign have an even bigger problem in explaining what possible political aims Moscow could attain via this type of operation. Most likely, the initial war effort will involve the use of artillery, precision fires, and airpower. Then ground forces would conduct a multi-axis attack from Belarus, Russia, the Donbas, and Crimea. A ground operation would entail the occupation of Ukrainian territory for some time to secure lines of communication and critical infrastructure, which requires follow-on forces and potentially reserves. The Russian military has been developing a sizable reserve and conducting partial callups to test it.

Russia could leverage the offer of an eventual withdrawal from Ukraine in exchange for a deal, figuring that the United States might prefer a broken Ukraine to a hard redrawing of the map of Europe. But this arrangement would undoubtedly combine current demands made to NATO with sovereignty impositions on Ukraine, including federalization to increase regional autonomy, and a rollback of defense ties with NATO members along with promises that NATO will never admit Ukraine. It is possible that Putin believes he can get such a deal, to be enforced externally by the United States, but only if he holds the bulk of Ukraine’s territory in his hands.

The increasingly likely scenario is that Moscow intends to install a pro-Russian government backed by its forces, which aligns with recently released claims by the United Kingdom. [To be fair the content of the British report is bunk. Russia is supposed to want to install a guy who is bankrolled by Akhmetov and who acts as a spoiler to dilute the vote of the pro-peace Opposition Platform party.] Alternatively, Russia may consider a partitioning of Ukraine. This would not be a total occupation of the country, but would include most of the country sans the Western regions. It would be terribly risky, and costly, but it would make Putin the Russian leader who restored much of historical Russia, and established a new buffer against NATO.de facto occupation of most of Ukraine may be the only way that Russia can impose its will on the country if it cannot install a pro-Russian government. In launching an offensive, one of Moscow’s riskiest decisions will be whether to stay largely east, or to venture west of the Dnieper river.

Whether Russia intends to partition Ukraine or not, war is highly contingent. Russian forces may end up controlling large parts of Ukraine for a prolonged period either way. Indeed, this is how Russia originally ended up with the Donbas in the first place, having never sought to hold it indefinitely. Similarly, the Russian operation to seize Crimea shows little evidence that annexation was a premediated outcome. Consequently, once an operation is launched, beyond the initial move it is difficult to predict how it might end.

Why not something lesser in scope? A smaller campaign, perhaps seizing the rest of the Donbas, would have high costs and risks. What does this gain Moscow in Ukraine, or in terms of revising its position in Europe? If anything, it worsens Russia’s current predicament. Russian leaders have acknowledged that their strategy of trying to leverage the Donbas has failed to deliver and are unlikely to double down or repeat something that they concede won’t work. The logic of a Russian military operation suggests that the best way in which Moscow could attain lasting political gains is to use force on a large scale and commit to an occupation for some period of time.

The Unfinished Business of Europe

If Putin’s aim is to see what he can get, then he may well take the low-hanging fruit of an expanded strategic stability agenda, pocket the win, and close out this gambit. Europeans would breathe a sigh of relief and U.S.-Russian relations would stagger on until the next crisis. This looks terribly unlikely. Alternatively, if Russia uses force on a large scale, Washington would have to make major shifts in force posture, reinforce deterrence on NATO’s flank, and reinvest in its ability to defend European allies, likely to the detriment of its aim to focus on the Indo-Pacific. The ensuing cycle of sanctions, diplomatic expulsions, and various forms of retaliation might escalate to the use of larger-scale economic and political instruments.

If Ukraine is unfinished business for Russia’s leader, then European security should be unfinished business for the United States. This is a defining moment. Russia may be able to temporarily set the agenda, but it has thus far not shown itself strong enough to make the United States and its allies in Europe restructure the current order to accommodate Russian preferences. There are fundamental disagreements in outlooks on international relations and which principles should govern them. Despite periods of cooperation, Moscow has long interpreted this as an order of exclusion, created and expanded during a time of Russian weakness. This not just a phenomenon under Putin. Missed opportunities, choices made and not made, cast a long shadow over European security.

This crisis reveals a problem in U.S. strategy. European security remains much more unsettled than it appears. The most militarily powerful state on the continent does not see itself as a stakeholder in Europe’s security architecture. There’s little evidence that without the United States, European powers can deter Moscow or lead their way out of a major crisis. The European Union is nonexistent in the conversation, begging for relevance. Yet the United States is materially constrained, seeking to focus on the Indo-Pacific and redress a deteriorating military balance vis-à-vis China. Washington’s dream of making the Russia relationship more predictable via a narrow strategic stability agenda appears to be dissipating. The United States will have to manage China and Russia, at the same time, for the foreseeable future. For U.S. strategy, it was never going to be China only, but it will prove exceedingly difficult to make it China mostly — not as long as Russia gets a vote.

Source: War on the Rocks

  1. GMC says

    Why Russia this and Why Russia that – maybe because Putin wants to make sure the History books get it right – on WHO tried to avoid the War and Who are the Aggressors. And he has done this diplomatically, and now there will be a showdown when the US and Nato push their proxy armies on Donbas and Crimea.

    We all know that the US is now a failed state as UKraine is and it needs to cover up all its War Crimes, Crimes against humanity, huge thefts and economic attacks { domestically and foreign}, along with the Covid deaths and murder. Washington thinks a war with Russia will solve all those past Crimes – it won’t – Russia is smarter than that and hopefully, so is the American public.

    1. Mr Reynard says

      GMC ! Remember ! All History’s books are written by the winner ?

      1. Raptar Driver says

        And revised by the losers.
        The question is who was right.
        Is one wrong because they won or because they lost?

        1. Mr Reynard says

          The least, I’d say the least, but not 100% honest history book I have read in my life is written by Carroll Quigley ” Tragedy & Hope” …He did struggle to be honest writing this book ?
          BTW History of the XX Century . I do recommend it & if you have an E-Reader get it on
          https://www.wanttoknow.info › war › tragedy_and_hope_quigley_full1090pg.pdf

        2. Jerôme says

          Goy, I don’t see the loosers revising the holyhoax! Neither the other allies war crimes! The nosehooked khazar writes all the history of the Western
          enslaved goyim nations!

  2. Victor says

    I believe the author incorrectly asserts that this is a Ukraine/Russia issue at heart. He might be surprised to understand that the intent of Russia’s demands in the form of the two documents delivered to the USA and NATO are directed at the United States and NATO, not Ukraine, either directly or indirectly. Putin disclosed his intent very clearly when he stated that refusal to agree to the terms of the document will result in “military-technical” action. Such action is not aimed at Ukraine, but the entire sphere of US/NATO influence and aggression. Just as importantly, and certainly significant, is Russia’s obvious coordination with China over this issue. I am convinced that Russia and China have a plan, that these two documents are only part of that plan, and that the ultimate target of the plan is the overthrow of the Western system of “international rules” and economic domination (US hegemony and exceptionalism).

    Russia feels that it is now ready and able to force constraints on the US/NATO mission. China’s role remains a mystery, but I suspect it has to do with a digital yuan, a SWIFT alternative, Eurasian integration and the downfall of the petrodollar, backed by Chinese/Russian economic/military power.

    This is a much larger plan than a simple Ukrainian fix. This is the overthrow of a global order.

    1. kombijakov says

      Very good thinking, much larger plan. If conflict starts, I expect to see Chinese ships and troops in the region. Plus, imagine using Murmansk systems in Ukraine and Balttics
      for let say just 2 days. NATO could not survive that.

  3. Martillo says

    Fear porn blah blah blah

    USSA will need all its sub working class drug addled Pentacon killers for the coming collapse in Slumville proper. There will be no “war” in rump Ukropland no matter what the local khazar mobsters and their khazar cousins in the Washing town sewer try to pull. Meanwhile most of the “citizens” in Donbass and Donetsk are Russian passport holders, i.e. Russian citizens. The Natostan shenanigans in Ukropland orchestrated by USSA and its bastard waif aka the evil EUSSR are merely sleight of hand to distract from the covaid$ narrative crash and burn.
    Great R€$et my ass!

  4. Iapetus Ducq says

    This is rather well-written for what comes across as psy-ops. Missing is any critique or history of NATO’s actions. Missing is an analysis of Washington’s motivations. Missing is any discussion of the political atmosphere of the ‘leadership’ in Kiev since 2014. What is supplied with third and fourth helpings is the inevitability of conflict, with all the credit/blame placed at Putin’s feet. When a writer who has this many facts at their fingertips constantly emphasizes a monochromatic solution to a multifoliate situation, and that solution coincides with the narrative being published by those who wish to justify a course of extremely bad judgment, it creates pause.

    1. D FERGi says

      I agree. This writer seems to have an agenda. The article oozes with Western dribble.

  5. Martillo says

    Will all this retarded poking the Bear kabuki be enough to cover their covaid$ narrative crash and burn?

    NATO, North Amerikan Terror Organ, that limp appendage dangling from the Pedophile Politburo in Natostan capital of USSA’s flaccid vassal Brussels, seat of the infamous albeit collapsing EUSSR wants to be the global gangster sidekick of the Pentacon thugs but just doesn’t want to pay to play. Will the Germans get suckered for a third time into a global war for their anglozionazi bankster masters and the Washing town thugocracy? Nah…they finally seem to have figured it and STASI agent “Erika” out as the I$I$ “backed” Saudi Mercan IOU fiat filth petroscrip toilet paper dollah gets flushed from the global Ponzi sewer of the Potemkin Village (idiot) Mercan “economy” of slaughter for the profit of the zero 1%.

    Meanwhile the winter of financial collapse is upon US, on both sides of the Atlanticist swamp, as the detritus of USSA’S Middle East judaic wars rapes and pillages its way across a seething Europe betrayed by the hag in Berlin and her Soros puppet master. Syria is where the anglozionazi beast and Pentacon Murder Inc. finally bit off more than they could chew in their serial judaic wars of terror and the rest of humanity sees it for what it is. All the emasculated pedophile pawns in Natostan huff and puff at Mr. Bear’s doorstep but that is all these Brownstoned cretins will ever do. It is all over bar the inevitable bankrupt collapse of €urolandia and the long awaited civil war reloaded in Slumville USSA.

    Bismarck was right more than a century ago, the only future
    Germany has, and Urupp by default, is in the warm embrace of Mr. Bear and his vast supply of energy and resources as USSA vainly squeezes the last of its gas from the “shale miracle” BS and hubris bloated turds still bobbing in the stinking Washing town swamp.
    Onward on the great One Belt One Road trip of a lifetime sans everything USSAN

  6. Mousto says

    A very good paper

  7. Steve Ginn says

    Get the fu**ing Yanks out of Europe altogether! Every where they go there is trouble! All this sh*t in Ukraine was caused by the Yanks and their regime change efforts.

    1. Mr Reynard says

      & Steve , whose hands are manipulating the Yankee puppet ??
      Ohh… BTW no lollipop for correct answer …

  8. Ragheadthefiendlyterrorist says

    None of this would even have been a requirement for discussion if Putin in 2014 had not been so obsessed with the Sochi Olympics that the Ukranazi coup was allowed to happen in full view without Russia raising a finger. After that, with Russian military blogs demanding to be let off the leash and smash the Nazis (“Putin, dai prikaz!”) Russia didn’t do a thing. The Nazi coup regime was so shambolic and disunited – it killed one of its own top enablers, Oleksandr “Sashko Bily” Muzychko – that two battalions of Spetsnaz airlifted into Kiev could have routed Nuland’s nazis and recovered control. But Putin did nothing (except liberating Crimea, which should have been done anyway) even when the Donbass militias had to raid museums for weapons to fight the Ukranazi “punishment battalions” and were forced to abandon Slovyansk. When the Donbass armies finally turned the tide at the battles of Ilovaisk and Donetsk Airport, the Ukranazis were in headlong rout, and even the French media had acknowledged that the capture of the port of Mariupol by the Donbass Republics (giving them an access to the sea) was inevitable. But Russia then ordered the armies to stop short of Mariupol, and the Ukranazi coup regime then signed Minsk II, which of course it had no intention of honouring and now not even pretends to adhere to. (Even if it could be arm twisted into doing so, the Minsk Agreement is based on the Donbass Republics dissolving themselves to become partially autonomous under the Kiev regime; can you see the Lugansk and Donetsk people ever agreeing to this? And all this while, though Putin not only didn’t invade Ukranazistan but bent over backwards to prevent the Donbass Republics from winning the war, Russia was blamed and sanctioned for an invasion it didn’t carry out. I don’t know how many sites (the Junkyard of the Faker is one) I have been banned from for saying the obvious: this is all the fault of Putin. Now Russia has to do what it could have infinitely more easily and cheaper in 2014, or back down completely. I have zero confidence in Putin doing the right thing even now. I believe he will let the Donbass people be massacred by the Ukranazis unless his generals force him to intervene.

    1. ken says

      Yes,, it does seem Russia has the beaten wife syndrome,,, Stockholm syndrome. It was stunning that Russia did nothing to stop the Ukraine coup by the West.

      1. Mr Reynard says

        Or maybe… Maybe…. This which made me suspicious ?
        & Funny, was searching one similar with Lukashenko & guess ??
        No luck ? Couldn’t find one ..

    2. Raptar Driver says

      Dead on!

    3. TZVI says

      If Russia kept /re-installed a pro Russian Government, could they have taken Crimea back from the Ukraine?

      1. Ragheadthefiendlyterrorist says

        I keep hearing this hackneyed argument from the supporters of the Putinist line. My reply is always the same: if Ukraine was a pro Russian country under a pro Russian government, would Russia want to reintegrate Crimea and spend the enormous sums it is now spending on developing the peninsula, constructing and defending the Kerch bridge, etc? Why would it need to?

  9. Rem says

    A-E, your operation to “seize” some attention as a news outlet puts you right up there with Snopes. Tkx for the bald-faced attempt at sattire, at least…

    You might consider writing movie & book reviews…
    Putin assures me you may not be safe there, but that you could perhaps have a bright career as a comedian in Kyiv awaiting you, if you were ok with wearing a mouth-sock for NATzO’s Swampington DC, sewn in Jerusalem…

  10. ken says

    After the last two years I believe little to none of what the Western mockingbird media has to say. That includes information regarding this upcoming war so many seem to want. Both sides will propagandize their populations to propagate as much hate as possible. It’s always the same.

    If there is war, so be it. The US and its Nato puppet has no legitimate reason to continue placing weapons and manpower on Russia’s border. The West is the aggressor here as they have been in most of the past wars.

    There is no way the West can win a conventional war in Russia’s backyard without using nukes. If they fly Russia will respond and that will be that. Their stupid Build Back Better is imploding and they probably think a war is needed to kill off those that weren’t stupid enough to take the bio-weapon injections.

    These are not smart people. All they know is how to threaten and intimidate which is how they get to power. The world populations, not so smart as well going along with their covid operation and past wars,,, will likely go along with yet another war rather than push back. Big mistake.

  11. edwardi says

    Who writes this crap ? Thankfully they are not in charge of Russian strategies. But they use a lot of words and that makes it sound very legitimate.

  12. Pablo says

    I cannot understand why the European countries going along with The US War Machine are doing so. Their Countries are close to Russian Borders and are much more likely to suffer physical damage in the event of a War in the Ukraine. A war that will only start in Ukraine. Is it explained simply through the Political Classes in European Countries are Corrupt? It seems much of Europe will need to re-learn the lesson of the devastation that happens to a Country in a War.

    1. Raptar Driver says

      The Russians have stated if they are attacked they will concentrate on counter attack via the decision centers.

      1. Petra says

        The financial centres would do it – NY and the City.

    2. Kieran says

      European leaders are ALL traitors their elections are sham and fraudulent just like the US 2020 stolen elections. Nothing the EU leaders decide is for the benefit of their peoples be it open borders, unchecked migrations, denying cheap Nordstream II gas, energy policies, mind boggling stupid diplomacy conducted against Russia

  13. Bartok says

    This analysis is totally biased, as are the other articles on this Texas War On The Rocks site. The author repeats the narrative of NATO and the Pentagon, which is to focus the responsibility for a war on the figure of President Putin. In fact, the aggression is American as it is worldwide. Russia has so far done nothing but defend itself. But by teasing it, NATO will get what it deserves. And Russia is fully capable of doing so.

  14. Helga Weber says

    Biden wants to improve his rating and as of now it always worked with going to war.
    So I guess he and his handlers have their hopes high.
    Never confuse movement with action.

  15. StephenDouglas says

    Whoever wrote this? He is completely insane. Putin’s demands are extremely simple: Americans and NATO honor the agreement the US made with Gorbachev: NATO not to expand eastward. Period.

    The writer imputes far more than is there. It’s a simple demand. Easy to fulfill. Why isns’t America agreeing?

    1. Petra says

      I can only conclude that the writer is a bit of a knob-end.

  16. roy says

    Russia will likely go for the head of the hydra monster, not just its tail. This means the USA itself in their own backyard. Once the USA is in chaos, the rest of the european vassals will expunge themselves from the NATO alliance.

  17. Arthur says

    Tone deaf.

  18. the nagus says

    why are you publishing this brain-damaged diseased Imperial drivel?

    waste of code and type…

  19. Adam says

    Russia should just strike across Ukraine from the Leichitsy district in the north to the Novoselts kyi distrct on the border with Romania and Moldova, isolating Lviv, then deport all the Ukraine speaking population into the Lviv area. Offer the Hungarian and Romanian speaking population a referendum to stay of leave to join Romania or Hungary, throwing a sanner in the westen alliance. Then whole of the rest of Ukraine would be Novo Russia. Erect a security wall between the rump of the Lviv Ukrainians and the rest of Ukraine, offer the Russian speaking Ukrainians a referendum on an autonomous Oblast with Russian military bases all across the Oblast or to join Russia. That is the end of the story. The western powers can exercise whatever sanctions they want, the Russians are not going to starve or crumble. They would rather grow stronger and richer.

  20. Juan says

    Blatant pro “west” (globo-homo) bias, read with caution.

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