The Russian-Ukrainian War Postponed for When an Even Stronger China Opens the Taiwanese Question

"The US has steadfastly positioned itself as an enemy of Russia...There will be no end of pressure on any Russian regime to settle scores with the US when it runs into difficulties in the Pacific"

I have compared the current standoff in Donbass to a poker game. By amassing troops around Ukraine, Putin let it be known that a Ukrainian attack on Donbass would be – well, if not assuredly catastrophic, then at least extremely risky for its continued statehood.

Ukraine could raise by going ahead with it anyway. It has spent the past couple of months mobilizing its troops, and not going ahead now will frustrate its aggressive nationalists.

At that point, Russia could call – defend the Donbass and throw back the Ukrainians. But then Nord Stream 2 will be flushed and there will be a bunch of further sanctions (though their impact now will be modest).

It could raise again with a full on attack through Kharkov and Crimea to encircle the Ukrainian formations in the Donbass, from Crimea to Odessa, and even from Bryansk and Belarus on Sumy and Kiev.

Or it could fold and allow the Ukrainians to conquer Donbass. That would shatter Russia’s credibility, with focus subsequently turning to Crimea and provoking internal nationalist opposition to Putin. This would be the best scenario for Ukraine and the West. But, unlikely to happen – and the Ukrainians probably realize that.

Ideal scenario for Russia would be to retain Nord Stream 2, which would have the side benefit of depriving Ukraine of $3B per year (its military budget is $5B per year and its GDP is $150B). At that point, Zelensky would have to make a choice between guns and butter, since speculations about a post-Maidan economic boom in Ukraine have turned out to be svidomy hopium, as a look at the statistics will immediately tell.

The US did use the opportunity to further wreck Russia’s image in the West and to strain relations with some East Central European countries to near breaking point (looks like conjuring up Russian plots has become a hobby amongst ECE limitrophes from Montenegro and Bulgaria to Czechia). Then again, Russia doesn’t particularly need good relations with them. They are uninteresting from a trade or technology transfer viewpoint. That some moneyed Russians, many of them liberals opposed to Putin, buy up property in Prague doesn’t make Czechia important to Russia (Czech delusions aside).

Zelensky doesn’t really have any good options now.

He can still attack the Donbass, and indeed the incidence of Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk has increased today after the announcement of the end of the Russian “exercises.”

He can withdraw. But then he’d be inviting challenges from nationalist hardliners. And, come the Nord Stream 2-related budget crunch, some hard choices between guns and butter. Elections are coming up in 2023.

Unless it can generate East Asian-tiger style economic growth, Ukrainian military power relative to Russian will probably peak in the early 2020s. Cheap assembly work for German firms (that even the Poles shun) and NEET ITshniki are not going to generate that kind of economic growth. Russia has internal economies of scale and technological clusters that Ukraine is not in a position to replicate. By the time Ukraine gets its masses of DIY Bayraktars, Russia will have Okhotnik drones that can sweep them from the skies.

No less importantly, by that time China will have increased its relative power to the US further and the Taiwan issue will be creeping to a resolution. The US has steadfastly positioned itself as an enemy of Russia ever since the end of the Cold War. There will be no end of pressure on any Russian regime to settle scores with the US when it runs into difficulties in the Pacific.

Source: The Unz Review

  1. Chris walker says

    The author makes quite a few good points. In the next 5 years, the world will increasingly move away from the US$ and the US will have difficulty financing its debt so will have to reduce military spending. At the same time, China will continue to grow rapidly, also expanding its military. It also will further integrate with Taiwan to a point where they are much more dependent on each other, and the Taiwan issue goes away, as Hong Kong has.

    At some point, the US will need support from the outside, but where will it come from? Russia and China won’t rush to save the US.

    1. GMC says

      The Military is in charge – how true – and they have help, as in the Biden’s Zionist Bolsheviks, the Globalist Corporations, Wall Street, thousands of traitors that work for the governments, and the list could go on.T he dope money alone, from Afghanistan and Colombia is enough to keep the US Military running.

    2. Tommy says

      The Bolsheviks are in charge — of the Military and all the rest — expect what happened in 1917 forward — Starvation/Mass Murder….

  2. Gerald says

    Until Russia defangs the Nazis and the oligarchs who finance them, there will be no peace for Ukraine, with or without war.

    1. Mr Reynard says

      Cap the funniest is that the Ukies have forgotten the holodomor enforced by Yiddish speaking commissars & today they are ruled by Hebrew speaking commissars ?
      Wonder about their IQ score ?

  3. Jerry Hood says

    The author has plenty of excellent articles in Russia Insider !!!

  4. Bogart says

    I will simplify this whole fiasco The Russians ARE NOT going to give up Crimea as this will spell the end of the Russian nation. They are not going to give up the buffer zone between Ukraine and Crimea without a fight. The Ukrainian military is a joke, morale is poor, soldier abuse is rampant and their adversaries in Donbass have preparing for 7 years. The previous Western incursion into that area was a complete and total disaster ending with the Charge of the Light Brigade (If the USA needs a comparable event how about Pickett’s Charge a little later). And this nightmare was nothing compared to the next one. That may have the possibility of becoming a humanity altering event.

    1. Michael Arnold says

      The ussa had better watch its step because Russian missiles can lay waste to the continental ussa! They will lose way more people then the RF.

    2. GMC says

      With summer approaching, tens of thousands of Ukrainians will head to Crimea , like they have for a century. They will check on their flats, dachas, friends, and soak up the sun and bath in the Black Sea. They will not be treated anyway differently than in the past. But the sanctions will continue and the Western Media will keeping referring to Crimea as an Occupied State. Da, Crimea is Occupied – very Happily Occupied.

  5. yuri says

    no war, no poker game–fake news to entertain peasants that cannot distinguish klubnika from markovka

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