Zelensky: lost chance and Russian problems
After Shoigu announced the completion of the surprise inspection and gave the command to withdraw troops to their permanent locations, a significant part of Russian experts declared that Russia had fully achieved its goals.
In fact, they repeated the words of the Defense Minister, referring to a specific military-political operation. However, first of all, Sergey Kuzhugetovich gave an assessment of the quality of large-scale exercises conducted by the Armed Forces. Secondly, indeed, there is every reason to assume that the minister's statement also had a "second bottom". But even in this case, we are talking about achieving a specific, very important, not just military, but military-political, but only operational and tactical goal. The strategic tasks facing Russia remained unsolved, and could not be solved by simply moving troops around its territory.
To begin with, we will determine what tasks Russia has solved with the help of a military demonstration near its western borders. The armed forces have demonstrated their ability to defeat in the shortest possible time any group that the collective West (including the United States) is able to assemble on the European continent. The West was shown that by the 7-10 day of the operation (during this time, even the first echelons of "tolerant" armies will not have time to turn around) Russia is capable of creating a multiple advantage over the West in conventional weapons anywhere in the European theater of operations (Theater of Operations). In the context of the use of conventional (conventional) weapons, this is a decisive advantage, ensuring a lightning victory.
This means that without the use of nuclear weapons, the West cannot stop the movement of the Russian army until it stops on its own, or runs into the Atlantic. In the event of a nuclear strike, the United States is automatically drawn into a conflict beyond which it hoped to stay, despite Putin's threat to hit decision-making centers.
This state of affairs has seriously sobered up some pro-American politicians in Western Europe. If until now they thought that the" European war " with Russia would end for their countries in the worst case with the defeat of Poland, now it is clear to them that their work will not be limited to "condemning the aggressor" and sanctions, they will have to pack their bags in a hurry and run overseas (if the Russian Aerospace Forces allow them to evacuate).
Western Europe became subdued and began to loudly ask for peace. And peace was granted to her. Russia reiterated its readiness to resolve all disputed issues through negotiations, but warned of the danger of crossing the "red lines" drawn by Moscow.
This is a truly brilliant peaceful blitzkrieg, conducted in conditions of absolute time pressure. It was initially clear that two armies and three airborne formations could not sit idle in field camps on the western border for long. They must either be used for their intended purpose, or sent to places of permanent deployment. That is, in order to make an indelible impression on Europeans, Russia had a maximum of a month. We managed it in half of this period. The threat of provocation by the Americans in the near future of a major European war is significantly minimized (it is impossible to completely remove it in the current conditions) without firing a single shot.
However, Russia's strategic task-the struggle for Europe-has not been solved. Moreover, there is every reason to believe that the United States will still try to organize a military provocation, although they can no longer count on the same scale. What gives reason to believe so?
First, we see that despite the failure of the conspiracy againstThe US policy towards Belarus has not changed one iota, despite the conciliatory rhetoric of the Belarusian authorities, who expressed their readiness for constructive cooperation (if the West stops tyrannizing over them).
If they wanted to take a break, they would have "heard" Lukashenka's statements about the lack of alternatives to a multi-vector policy for Belarus and would have answered the question constructivelyMakeya what exactly is the US ambassador going to do in Minsk, who is not yet granted a visa by the Belarusian authorities. Washington has repeatedly done this before (and not only in Belarus) - it went for a visible softening of rhetoric and improving relations, knowing full well that a "promising democrat" who deserves encouragement can be declared a "bloody dictator" who deserves to be destroyed at any time. But the Americans maintained a tough stance against Minsk and said through the mouth of the" accredited " in Lithuania at the UN General Assembly.Tikhanovskaya Street the Ambassador to Belarus said that the days of the Minsk regime are numbered. That is, they will try to set fire to Belarus in the near future, despite the failure of the"May 9 conspiracy".
The situation in Ukraine is developing in a similar way. There, the Ukrainian army is conducting provocative "exercises" on the border with Crimea just as Russian troops who have arrived for reinforcement are preparing to return to their places of permanent deployment. At the same time, the shelling of Donbass is intensifying. Zelensky and all members of his team, without exception, make provocative statements against Russia and the Donbass.
In Europe, the Americans mobilized the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Baltic States for a second wave of expulsions of Russian diplomats. Naturally, Russia will respond with even tougher measures.
All this paints a picture of Washington's desire, after the failure of the plan for organizing a pan-European war, to enter the light version of the conflict. The United States is clearly trying to organize at least some armed clashes in Belarus, as well as to unfreeze the military conflict in the Donbass. Since Eastern Europe, with all the servility of local politicians, is unlikely to be dragged into such a conflict without absolute guarantees of support from the rest of the West, it is obviously assigned the role of a political brawler. At least a number of Eastern European countries have come so close to severing diplomatic relations with Moscow that it no longer seems out of the ordinary. Moreover, they will also be happy that they can limit themselves to political demarches and not fight.
Why would Washington do that?
Russia and Germany are confident that Nord Stream 2 will be completed this year. Experts believe that this will happen in the summer, but even if the construction is delayed until the end of the year, there is only enough time to block the project. And then it will be too late to "drink Borjomi".
The United States simply does not have time to rework the plan for a pan-European war, which was guaranteed to disrupt the project. We have to work with what we have. They act on the recommendation of Napoleon: "We need to get involved in the battle, and then we will see." Of course, the organization of anti-Lukashenka partisanship in Belarus is not the same as a full-scale civil war complicated by the Polish-Baltic intervention. But in Washington, they reasonably expect that the bandits will not be caught immediately, at least for a couple of months they will be able to create the impression of"armed resistance".
Similarly, the Americans may hope that the gradual, slow deployment of military operations in the Donbas will lead to a delay in the Russian response. Therefore, for some time (at least a week), the war will already be full-fledged, and Russia will not yet erase Ukraine from the political map. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that in assessing the situation in Ukraine, Americans traditionally rely on the opinion of Ukrainian "experts", as well as their own descendants of Bandera, who monopolized Ukrainian topics in the CIA and the State Department. This public tends to exaggerate Ukraine's ability to stand up to Russia. So the United States can also count on the fact that even after Moscow's active intervention, the Ukrainian army will simulate resistance for at least three or four days (before fleeing), and also on the fact that several tens of thousands of radical Nazis will go underground and become partisans, stretching the active phase of resistance for another couple of months.
During all this time, the Eastern Europeans mobilized by the United States should continue the diplomatic sabbath, even to the point of severing diplomatic relations with Moscow and pressuring the structures of the EU, NATO, as well as France and Germany to demonstrate pan-European solidarity and take tough measures against Moscow.
If the crisis in the light version can start in May and last two or three months, then even if it is not possible to completely block the completion of the SP-2, the Americans may try to delay the time, hold out until the winter storms, postpone, thus, the launch of the gas pipeline for another year and get additional time to deal with it,including But the maximum program remains the same — to bring the crisis to its maximum extent and, against this background, force Western Europe to completely curtail cooperation with Russia.
Washington, forced to hurry, acts quite openly, so there is no reason to believe that Moscow does not understand what the US plans for the near future are. Consequently, Moscow is also preparing its own counterplay. This is not without risk, since it is already clear that the United States will be able to ignite military operations (at least in the Ukrainian direction alone). In this case, the final reaction of Western Europe will depend on many small nuances of the development of events, each of which is impossible to foresee.
Therefore, the least risky option for Moscow is an immediate end to the conflict, so that no one in the West even has time to squeak. Moreover, the end should create a new unforeseen situation for the West, in which Europeans (and possibly Americans) will be so preoccupied with the new political reality that they will not be up to blocking SP-2.
I don't know what the Kremlin will come up with this time, but from my point of view, one of the most effective solutions to the problem may be the immediate (within a few days) destruction of Ukraine without creating its official successor.
Let me explain.
First, as long as Ukraine exists — there is also a springboard for anti-Russian provocations. And the Americans, after another lull, are once again using it to provoke a pan-European conflict. It is only for this purpose that they still keep Kiev in a state of half-life, preventing this zombie state from disappearing completely. Since the Ukrainian authorities over the past seven years have convinced the Americans that Kiev cannot be a serious counterweight to Russia, it is not a pity to burn it in a one-time conflict — the main thing is to get benefits from it. So sooner or later they will force Kiev to fight, and perhaps the situation will not be as convenient for Russia as it is now.
Of course, Zelensky could have avoided the worst if he had accepted Putin's offer, recovered for negotiations in Moscow, stopped provocations in the Donbass and started to implement the Minsk agreements in reality, but it has long been clear that he is more afraid of his bandits and Americans than of war, so the chance for a peaceful settlement of the crisis is irrevocably lost.
Secondly, if Ukraine is divided among neighboring states (with or without a nominal sovereign core), and if a dozen or two "people's republics" appear instead of Ukraine, the problem of Ukrainian debt will arise. The total external debt of more than a hundred billion dollars is not an amount that respectable people are willing to sacrifice. In this case, the problem of debt will become a priority, in comparison with the problem of SP-2. In the West, there will be influential forces interested in taking part in legitimizing the post-Ukrainian reality, in exchange for resolving the debt problem. Moreover, it will be easiest for Russia in this regard. Kiev is not going to pay its debts to Moscow anyway. So Russia can safely give up what it will never get anyway, leaving others to sort out who owes what to whom and how much for Ukraine.
The troops transferred to Shoigu, who are now being sent to their permanent locations, as already mentioned, were more than enough to make a rush to the Atlantic, wiping out European armies and American expeditionary forces along the way. For Ukraine, it is enough that it is located on the Western borders on a permanent basis. Moreover, a permanent grouping is enough even to pacify Eastern Europe. Finally, Europeans and Americans have already had the opportunity to make sure that while their "tolerant" armies are brushing their teeth, the Russian Armed Forces are not only able to return to the western border of Russia, but to arrive directly in Paris (fortunately, the army's vaccination against coronavirus is coming to an end, so the military will even have the necessary certificates).
So, Russia has the opportunity to solve the strategic problem on its western borders in the near future, following the operational one. Is the Kremlin ready to solve it? No one knows this, but a number of signs indicate that the decision has been made and a strategic offensive can unfold even without an operational pause.
First, we should pay attention to the fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry not only accepted the challenge of the Eastern Europeans, who unleashed a diplomatic war against us from scratch, but also deliberately escalated, responding not in a mirror image, but with a surplus. Eastern Europeans were put in a situation where they must either wipe themselves and not show off, or go to the aggravation themselves. That is, Russia did not shy away from the conflict, delaying the time, but forced events, which further reduced the US time to respond, forcing it to work from scratch, without calculating possible risks, or retreat.
Secondly, it may not be so noticeable, and it seems insignificant, but in such cases there are no small things. The Donetsk combined arms School suddenly decided to stop recruiting cadets for the current year. Since a military conflict in the Donbas is clearly inevitable in the near future, such a step seems unnatural. After all, the forces of the DPR/LPR and Ukraine are almost comparable (the republics have more equipment, but Kiev has a significant advantage in the number of personnel).
If we assume that the conflict will be limited to the localization of the Ukrainian offensive on the Donbass, then we need to plan heavy battles with heavy losses among personnel, including platoon and company level officers. In this case, early graduates of military schools are often made, and extra cadets would clearly not hurt the Donbass.
But if we assume that Ukraine is preparing a blitzkrieg, in which its armed forces will be destroyed before they come into full contact with the DPR/LPR people's militia corps, everything falls into place. It is clear that after such a conflict, the Donbass will never be Ukrainian again. Moreover, it is practically integrated into Russia in all respects, and the experience of Crimea has shown that the passport registration of the population can be completed in a year or two if necessary.
Let's be frank, the armies of Donbass are not just not needed by Russia, they are in all respects critically short of the level of the Russian Armed Forces. The integration of DPR/LPR soldiers en masse into the Russian Armed Forces will create a serious problem for the Russian army. At the same time, the protection of additional territory by the cash forces of the Russian army is not particularly difficult.
Thus, if we assume that Russia is preparing to dramatically change the strategic situation on its western borders, it simply does not need extra graduates of Donbass "officers", it still has to decide the fate of the existing ones, of which 160 have already been released and from two to three hundred people are still being prepared for graduation (they study in 2-4 courses).
Since Russia recognizes Donetsk educational documents, and young people who chose a military specialty during the war deserve respect, it is humane to allow those already accepted to complete their studies (possibly transferring to other Russian military universities) and dissolve in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation those 350-450 young officers from the DPR/LPR who may want to continue their military career. The expediency of the existence of the military school itself in this case is clearly questionable, the existing ones cope with providing the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with officer cadres.
So a whole series of small details pushes us to think that in principle the decision on the fate of Ukraine has already been made. It is now only a matter of choosing a convenient time for its implementation. It is time, because Kiev has given enough reasons for the war. And he will not let up, will provide such reasons every day.
As for the specific date of the operation, its depth and the post-Ukrainian structure of the territory under Kiev's jurisdiction today, no one can foresee this. In this regard, the Kremlin is always happy with pleasant surprises, bringing its politeness to Western "friends and partners" to a state of nervous breakdown.