Part 3 of the ongoing 'The Coming Russian Offensive' series.
Russia's dominance was clear from the start, though clearly they went in way too light...by design at the time. Kiev was effectively defeated some time ago followed with attack by DC/NATO, using Ukrainian bodies. Russia has ramped up in response. Let's hope they get it over with soon, for the sake of what is left of Ukraine as well as the rest of the world.
Russia is not warring Ukraine.
Russia is not invading Ukraine.
Russia is pushing back NATO ... while ... warring Emperor , to end his 5 centuries malfeasance fo good.
Ukraine is just a battlefield.
The main battlefield is in the cutting of Emperor's gravy train.
War will end when de-dollarization bankrupt US.
Until then , in Ukraine Russia will just grind forthcoming NATO.
The "offensive" will just push nazis back enough to secure civilians of LDPR, Melitopole and Belgorod (take Kharkov).
Don't hold your breath ... by far the most important battlefield is in de-dollarization ... that's what will crush Emperor and his provincial army NATO.
We're definitely seeing a lot of shaping going on across the front. Gerasimov's team have done a masterful job of keeping everyone guessing as to their intentions. Regardless of how decisively or not they can convert this effort, the Ukraine cannot fall into failed state status with some sort of frozen conflict in place to allow NATO a pause.
This whole thing has been little more than Russia doing exactly what it said it would do. This big mean invasion narrative falls apart when you show people how much of Russia Borders ukraine and how little the fought over area is. (Its actually fun to point it out to people and see them get confused).
They wanted the DPR and LPR to be safe and the set out to pretty much only do that. If ukraines owners had been smart they would have just given those two bits away, but they had to keep running their mouths.
Javelins, didnt save ukraine, saxons, M113s, polak T series tanks, Mraps and whatever else didnt save ukraine, and nothing will. Except surrender, or negotiating one.
I have a feeling that RU does not mind if this takes time, for a few geopolitical reasons. They accept this is a war with NATO, but don't want it to spread or escalate to nuclear conflict. Having NATO come to you far from western support lines and ISR is the ideal place to fight. All the time soaked up gives more time for China to prepare. All the energy and $$ used to support the war undermines the already shaky financial base of the west, plus adds potential for civil unrest. Mufti NATO soldiers in UKR are welcome, whether as infantry, in the(ir) tanks or aircraft for the above reasons. RU does not need a 'big arrow' victory ASAP, they are content to let western leaders stew in their own juices.
I am not sure if taking odessa is the goal of SMO. Pyhrric or complete victory will not depend on military vector anymore as US/NATo should be defeated in that case. Are those maps valid in this case after 1 year of SMO. I don't think so. They couldn't kherson city itself. How can they hold odessa or Nikoleav where there will be more people sympathetic to Ukrainian cause. What if so called annexed regions failed to pass referendum? Destruction of Ukraine as a society and functioning state is only left. If Ukrainians started firing belgorod or Bryansk or Kursk, then armed forces will enter 70-100Kms and make it a no-man zone to prevent artillery strikes.
Thank you for an excellent overview of the military side.
However, I will note that there is little to no mention of the extra-Ukraine situation nor is there a review on the fundamental challenges faced by the AFU regarding ammunition. Platforms are important but they are relatively easy to replace as opposed to the retooling, reorientation of economies and reindustrializing required to achieve even half of Russian military industrial capacity in missile, rocket and artillery shell production.
I posit this as a structural weakness with the otherwise excellent analysis laid out.
What does it matter if the AFU has 50 or 300 air platforms if the AFU's ability to defend against missile attack continues to fall due to the simple lack of availability of S300s, AMRAAMs or whatever? Doubly so if Russia is able to manufacture 100 cruise missiles a month and 500 offensive drones of various types?
What does it matter if the AFU has 300 or 1000 armored platforms if the AFU's 6K/day artillery logistics capacity continues to fall vs. the Russian armies 20K/day steady state and possibly 60K max effort artillery logistics capacity?
Nor is the problem restricted to the Ukraine. The entire West has denuded its artillery, anti-missile and rocket consumables to the point of Western militaries complaining publicly and Eastern European NATO members almost literally demilitarizing themselves.
I don't have a background in the military - so I ask you what the relative impact of lack of consumables would be as opposed to the lack of platforms to fire said consumables from.
For the first time in 30 years the ships of the Russian Northern Fleet when at sea now carry nuclear weapons with which their missiles may be armed.
Commandos could take the bridges and establish bridgeheads on the other side of the Dnepr, before the Ukrainians manage to blow them up.
Alternatively, cities laying across the big river could be turned by internal sleeping Russian cells as the Russian army approaches, similarly to what seems to have happened with Kherson in February/March 2022.
Ukraine is just another battle in a slow moving war.
Capitulation will not come as long as the west is able to provide arms and Ukraine has bodies for the meat grinder.
I doubt that a palace coup in Ukraine will happen and Zelensky is a puppet that can be replaced.
As frustrating this slow war is, there isn't much incentive for Russia to change the game at this point, they
will prolong this war until the EU starts to scream.
Truly astounding articles and assessment. Thank you.
An ace in the hole and using the Nordstream attacks as impetus, Russia could launch a coordinated attack on the extremely vulnerable U.S. grid infrastructure, make a major city or two go black for a while and effectively render NATO obsolete almost instantaneously.
Even the most braindead American NPC would completely forget about “muh Ukraine” as U.S. cities burn from rioting and violence, the stock market crashes, first responders are overwhelmed and fighting to the death for food becomes a very frightening reality for the vast majority of unprepared coastal urbanites.
NATO would cease to exist, the UA would immediately surrender, no more blood would be shed (in this conflict), Russia could basically take what it wants and former U.S “allies” held at gun point to an abusive, delusional spouse would be jumping ship to BRICS faster than Zelensky on a coke binge.
China would probably NOT want the U.S to go all SHTF for economic reasons but given their love of the long game, perhaps a quick death for the collapsing empire would be the most pragmatic move.
This could also result in the U.S going out Dr. Strangelove style but so could the current state of affairs.
Fascinating times we live in!
Reading the articles and incredibly intelligent comments makes me realize how little I understand about many things especially about war on land. What scares me most is the leadership of our country is lead by the most delusional corrupt group of leaders both military and civilian in my life time, maybe of our entire history. Not so much for me as I am old man but for my son, daughter and people of the country.
Excellent article as always, thank you.
Can you please write an article about the possibility of Ukraine/ Moldova/Romania attacking Transinistria and seizing the large ammunition depot to use against Russia and how that would shape the battlefield and likely play out?
A total shit show by the Biden administration.
Ukrainian people are dying and it’s a shame because it didn’t have to be this way. Peace talks and nato agreements in the beginning could’ve been reached but oh no. Biden had to puff out his chest and bang the warmonger drum. I’m not ashamed of saying this because I know it’s true.
" In his now-famous early 2019 interview, he foresaw the entirety of the conflict with a startling clarity, predicting the war with Russia would come in 2021 or 2022, and even accurately outlining the exact vectors and tactics employed."
This assertion is intellectual SUICIDE - one can always find someone - somewhere - saying something that turns out to resemble REALITY.
BUT simply listening to his "reasoning" - which is nothing more than baseless rumbling - I cannot find anything that resembles what can be observed by the actors of this whole theatre.
Which does NOT mean that in hindsight one will NOT have to conclude it turned out the way it has been "outlined" by this "wizard"! ;-)
Arestovich would have fit right in with the management by Chaos circus of the 3rd Reich, and of course it's one step ahead of physical bankruptcy pyramid scheme would need men/monsters like him to keep the pot stirring and the creditors at bay until it all collapsed. As to his ability to predict the long run, well, it seems he too can read a Rand Report. Getting the general thrust approximately right and being able to capitalize on it are very different skill sets. If Chaos decends yet again, then I'd bet on Moscow, as they beat the Chechens bloodly when much weaker and against a far more united enemy.