South Front: “The Ukraine War Is Moving Into an Unending Phase”
South Front says that the Russian campaign in Ukraine is threatening to turn into a “prolonged full-fledged war” and could be “moving into an”unending phase”:
At the same time, the advance of Russian forces has almost stopped on the Donbass front lines. The Russian grouping to the north of Kharkiv risks being blockaded. The Ukrainian Army is set to wage war on Russian territory. And Russia’s efforts on the demilitarization of Ukraine are partially offset by military supplies provided by Kiev’s allies.
So far, despite fierce fighting and heavy artillery fire in some areas, the front lines in the Donbas region remain almost frozen by positional battles.
From Izyum and Rubezhnoe, to Popasnaya and Ugledar, the situation remains without noticeable changes.
What was proclaimed to be a special military operation is close to turning into a prolonged full-fledged war in Europe. It seems that the only way to avoid this is a fast Russian ‘victory’ on the front lines. However, as the Kremlin claims no clear vision on what does the ‘end of the military operation’ mean on the battlefield, as well as due to the efforts of the West, the Ukraine war is moving into an unending phase.
Prolonged war with accompanying death, destruction, and hatred would be catastrophic for Russia and for East Slavic peoples. South Front is right to worry about such an outcome because of how disastrous it would be.
At the same time, I feel that we won’t know how likely such an outcome is until the coming showdown in Donbass runs its course:
The regrouping and strengthening of positions by both sides has been going on in Eastern Ukraine for about 2 weeks. Both sides are preparing for the bloody battle for the Donbass.
Russian, DPR and LPR forces are preparing to encircle the most powerful AFU grouping of troops numbering up to 100 thousand servicemen. The AFU is also transferring all available forces to the eastern front in order to stop the Russian offensive.
If the Russians demonstrate mastery of the battlefield in what will be the first real battle of the Plan B textbook war then a very long war isn’t necessarily on the cards. At least not outside cities.
But yeah, if the Russians are only able to push out the Ukrainians from Donbass with great difficulty that doesn’t bode well for the prospects of any quick victory.
It is also interesting to consider that America’s industrial capacities are greater than Russia’s. If the US decides it wants to, it can replace Ukraine’s hardware losses and more. In a multi-year conflict, the Ukrainians could actually emerge as the better-equipped side in some categories of weapons (not aircraft or missiles, but everything else) owing to the collective West acting as their military-industrial complex.
Russia doesn’t necessarily have a ton of time. If it intends to win big — so big as to vassalize Kiev and set the stage for the eventual re-assimilation of Ukrainians into a pan-Rus’ nation — then it must overrun large swathes of the country to deny manpower to Kiev before the US arms it to the teeth.
Currently 8 to 10 flights land in Poland and Slovakia each day with hardware for Ukraine. The West can make that into 50 or 100 and not even notice. (They could also start paying the salaries and bonuses of Ukrainian soldiers and rounding up any military-age Ukrainian men in their countries to be sent back and help Kiev counter draft-dodging as war becomes bloodier and war-weariness inevitably sets in.) Certainly the longer the war goes on the more emboldened they will become.
At the same time, after nearly two months of war Russia remains unmobilized and is casually releasing conscripts and isn’t using them in the war anyway. Will Moscow come to regret not making a full effort from the start and allowing Kiev two months of head start in mobilization? Moscow might be waging a “special military operation” but Ukraine and the US are certainly not.
A month ago I wrote:
Launching a halfway war has already proven a mistake. Reassuring the nation that the war can continue to victory as a halfway effort without greater Russian mobilization and sacrifices could prove to be another.
A different leader might have opted to tell the nation this was a critical moment for the war and that an all-national push was needed to end this quickly. Putin has chosen the opposite.
Here is some comments from Scott Ritter. He is a known outstanding war tactician. It a bit long but its very interesting. Right now he sees the Russians just setting things up for the eventual win.
Personally I think its another diversion from the Western nations economies crumbling which is why they are beating the war drums using baseball bats.