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Will Russia expand its invasion in Ukraine?

Will Russia expand its invasion in Ukraine?
Article by: Viktor Kaspruk
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

Putin’s Russia has become a real threat to the world. In the Russian Federation, 23 years after the collapse of the USSR, depressurization and certain understanding with democratic countries during Boris Yeltsin’s tenure, the rejection of the West has become much stronger than it was in the Soviet times. We have to admit that Putin’s zombie-media work much better than the communist media. And if Putin is not stopped now, the ‘green men’ and Russian tanks may end up in the Baltic states under the excuse of protecting Russians there.

Putin is definitely a bad strategists, but even he understands that the Russian Federation simply lacks the resources (military, economic, ideological, industrial, financial) and prospects thereof to contain the occupied Ukrainian territories, however he is unable to step away from Ukraine.

When surveying Putin’s policies regarding Ukraine, I am reminded of an analogous situation which I was once forced to witness in life. A fighter-breed dog bit into another dogs back, getting closer and closer to its throat with quite obvious intentions. The master of the aggressor and then the passersby try to drag the dog away, free the victim. And they do whatever they can with the attacker: trying to placate it, drag it away, hit it.

However, the mutt, blinded with the strive to end the enemy, is unable to react to anything in a reasonable way. In the given scenario both sides lose inevitably. The object of the attack suffers serious trauma at least.

And the attacker suffers a beating which knocks them out, a rubber bullet, or, even worse (but slightly later) a shot which will put them to sleep forever. This is approximately what Russian’s aggression in Ukraine looks like under Putin’s leadership.

The Great Madman’s Obsession

The midget from Petersburg hears almost no one and nothing now. He does not pay attention to smart arguments. He has become fixated on the idea of destroying Ukraine. The most important thing for the Great Madman is to return it under his influence or at least seriously punish it for disobedience. Pressure, dismember and ruin the Ukrainian economy by all means.

It looks that the anti-Ukrainian component in his activity, multiplied by the inadequate political behavior on the international arena, has become akin to drug addiction which Putin cannot cure himself of alone.

But the Muscovites, having begun a ‘safari’ in Ukraine for various scum, miscalculated Ukraine’s resilience. And whatever they thought up for Ukraine: ‘assistance’ in worsening the already difficult economic situation, Ukraine’s loss of territory, the ruining of mechanical engineering factories and a broken border, however the country stands due to unity, great national spirit and patriotism of its people.

Obviously November 2014 will be very difficult for Ukraine. The old guy in the Kremlin was put under pressure, but it is not enough. He does not count his losses, he is not afraid of popular protests, and he has been loaded with sanctions already.

However, as the western allies of Ukraine did not go further in their sanctions and Russia, which has not been disconnected from the SWIFT international payment system, as the British have proposed, we cannot exclude the possibility that Putin and his accomplices may attempt to build a ‘corridor’ to annexed Crimea.

The November test for Ukraine

Mariupol may become a test for further developments. If Russian terrorists brave to expand their invasion, they will begin their autumn campaign in Mariupol, most likely, which, on its part, will mean that they will broaden their ‘horseshoe’ to Crimea.

And if they do that, they will try to take Mariupol, Mykolayiv, Kherson and Odesa. Which means that the Kremlin will have bitten down on its bit and decided to start full-scale war, having fully ignored all Western sanctions. The question is whether the Ukrainian army is ready to block the movement of Russian troops deeper into Ukrainian territory.

We can examined several possible ways the events may unfold:

  1. Ceasefire (partial like now, short-term until spring or long-term for a longer period of time).
  2. Combat on Ukrainian territory. A ‘see-saw’ of sorts, Ukrainian troops take the territories which were occupied by Russian mercenaries, separatists recapture them, Ukrainian troops fight for them again. However, they do not cross the Russian border.
  3. Combat continues. During combat Ukrainian troops eliminate the terrorist groups and, if necessary, cross the border with Russia.

Having analyzed all the aforementioned possibilities, we see that the first one looks best, after all. However, taking into account that pro-Moscow forces are attacking constantly (all the time), it is doubtful that Russia will agree.

However, it is possible that the Kremlin may make the decision to postpone the escalation of the conflict until March or April. As they must know that the temperature in Luhansk and Donetsk steppes sometimes falls to 30-35 centigrade.

It is most likely that this decision is now in the making. Even judging by the ‘rebels’ in Yenakiyevo, which have already started to lament fighting in the winter. Putin’s personnel may just flee. Therefore Moscow may decide not to risk it until springtime.

Putin’s Zugzwang

The issue is that Putin has put himself into a dead-end. If he does not retreat, several following years will bring growing but inevitable economic collapse to Russia. After which, the people’s discontent will explode. And the Russian rebellion will pitilessly destroy Putin’s regime which is rotten to the core.

We cannot exclude the possibility that Putin will go all in to avoid the risk. Thinking that he will be able to win the war in Ukraine, whose rules he invented for himself.

However, in order for Ukraine not to lose, the West needs to reexamine the existing rules in its regard. The NATO should change its long-term ‘mantra’ that Ukraine is not yet ready to join. The EU should determine the exact time when Ukraine will become a member, and the US should determine whether they will supply Ukraine will defense weaponry.

The longer the increase of assistance for Ukraine is postponed, the more audacious Putin becomes. Moscow is able to begin ‘prophylactic’ shelling of Finnish or Norwegian territories with complete confidence that it can get away with it as before.

Therefore the question of whether Russians will go further slowly transition into the plane of stopping Russian aggression in Ukraine for real. As it is now clear that it is impossible to reach a long-term ceasefire with a country where revanchist Putinism has won completely.

The issue is pertinent today: either the revanchist government in Russia changes under pressure of Western sanctions, or Moscow breaks Ukraine, if the aid it is given remains insufficient.

Putin will not stop until he destroys Ukraine or dies himself. Therefore we have to speak of Ukraine’s independence as a factor of adherence to democratic values of the Western civilization…

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
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