America at a Crossroads
On Wednesday, October 5, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said that all of NATO is now fighting against Russia, noting that the West is trying to blackmail with the use of weapons of mass destruction. On the same day, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement. Sergey Lavrov's office reminded that the increase in Western arms supplies to Ukraine increases the risk of a direct clash between Russia and the Alliance. Similar statements have been made repeatedly in the last week from the Kremlin.
However, Russian politicians, officials and deputies have talked about the possibility of a direct clash with NATO before, but I do not recall that during the entire period of the special operation, statements warning the West against making an irreparable mistake went so thickly and were made immediately (on one day) on behalf of several key departments.
It is clear that tensions between Russia and the West continue to grow despite the fact that the United States has conducted several probes about possible preconditions for the start of peace talks.
The fact is that only" politicians " from the Internet, who mostly see the world in black and white, believe that the state apparatus can only work in one direction: either to seek peace, or to wage war and increase pressure. As a rule, these processes run in parallel. Military actions serve only as one of the arguments (and not always the main one) for determining the initial positions of the parties at the negotiating table. At the same time, diplomatic and intelligence agencies, international intermediaries, and sometimes specially authorized individuals (journalists, businessmen, lawyers) are probing enemy positions on behalf of the parties.
Preparation for negotiations reaches the official level at the moment when the parties, with the help of preliminary probing, are convinced that their request positions have come close enough to transfer the contact to the public plane. If one of the parties betrays confidence and tries to shift the negotiating position in a way that is convenient for itself for image purposes, disavowing the results of preliminary non-public contacts, negotiations are immediately interrupted and it becomes much more difficult to resume them. Therefore, they prefer not to make drastic steps — they will have to negotiate sooner or later anyway.
If (and most often it happens) negotiations are held against the backdrop of ongoing hostilities, then the results of the latter directly affect both the course of negotiations and the positions of the parties.
For example, if you have April 1943 of the year, you have just surrendered Kharkov, the Battle of Kursk is ahead, the enemy is strong and you are not sure that you can withstand its blow, if you understand that you will not lose the war, but it is not known whether you will have the strength to win it, then your requirements for peace conditions will be much more more modest than if it's already April 1945, and you're standing outside Berlin and preparing to storm it.
And it's not just that over the past time you have managed to agree with your allies that you will jointly insist on unconditional surrender. And not so much because you know perfectly well that the allies tried to make a separate peace behind your back. The fact is that the peace concluded in 1943 would have left millions of your not superfluous citizens alive, and by 1945 they were already in the ground anyway, which means that the point of concessions was gone. On the contrary, their ruined lives require compensation at least in the form of an absolute victory.
From this we draw a simple conclusion: the longer the war goes on and the closer one of the parties is to victory, the worse the conditions of peace (even a preliminary one) will be for the losing side. Increased pressure gives the party applying it hope to dramatically improve its position at the table of future negotiations, but this is only if it succeeds. In the event of failure, the position of the risker will deteriorate sharply.
When the Americans throw in the bait regarding the unconditional preservation of Crimea for Russia and the holding of new referendums in the four newly annexed regions (and Musk's initiative is not only and not so much personal PR, but open, and therefore requires an open response, probing the Russian position) they do not mean that Kherson will return to Ukraine, they agree, after haggling, even Zaporozhye (the regional center controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine) to give up without a fight. And they are ready to refuse the demand for new referendums. At one time, they demanded a repeat of the Crimean referendum under international control, and now they are ready to recognize Crimea as Russian without any conditions, if an agreement is reached on issues of principle for them.
They consider it fundamental to preserve the current Russophobic regime in Ukraine, even with the loss of territories. Why is this so important to them?
1. They create a myth about Ukraine, which defended its independence in a hard, bloody struggle with Russia. A country that at the beginning of the conflict had a population four times smaller than in Russia, and an army that is basically unable to resist the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, is not ashamed to get off with the loss of four regions after a year of resistance.
2.On the basis of the blood shed "for independence", the Americans are rapidly completing the formation of a new anti-Russian, Russophobic Ukrainian nation out of Russians living in the former southern provinces of the empire, seeking revenge and the return of lost lands. At any moment, Ukraine will again be ready to put a million-strong army against Russia, and the task of the West will only be to arm and train this army.
3. Thus, an anti-Russian foothold remains completely under the control of the United States on the Russian border, from which Washington can launch aggression against Russia at any time convenient for it, while formally remaining on the sidelines.
Therefore, Russia, while not putting forward new territorial demands to the Kiev regime (outside the already annexed regions), insistently demands the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine, as well as the return of Kiev to a policy of permanent neutrality. To fulfill this requirement, moreover, with guarantees that what is written in the agreement will be implemented in reality, means officially transferring Ukraine under the Russian protectorate. Only if the West refuses to interfere in any way in Russian-Ukrainian relations will neutrality be guaranteed, and denazification and demilitarization will be carried out. Ukrainians will not denazify themselves, they will need to be helped. But if the West recognizes the Nazi nature of the Ukrainian regime and refuses all support for it, this will be much easier to do.
The United States does not yet feel sufficiently defeated in Ukraine to accept these Russian conditions. Therefore, Russia is increasing political and psychological pressure on the West, promising to accept new territories that will be liberated in the future. The loss of another four or five regions makes maintaining Ukraine as an anti-Russian springboard meaningless for the West. Such a stump of a state simply won't have the resources to pose a serious threat to Russia. In addition, the Eastern European states bordering Ukraine in the West may wake up with a burning desire not to be late for the division (otherwise Russia will take everything).
Such a development will break the beautiful legend of the bloody struggle for independence with Moscow, giving the most Ukrainized regions under the control of Poland, which has a rich experience of assimilation of Ukrainians.
The US is trying to push back. They have two arguments:
1. The West will increase the supply of weapons to Ukraine and expand their range so much as to paralyze the upcoming Russian offensive, create a positional impasse in Ukraine and force Russia to give up some of its demands.
2. The United States and some of its allies will organize a nuclear provocation in Ukraine or in the Black Sea, which they will accuse the Russian Federation of, in order to consolidate the West and increase aid to Ukraine, as well as possible entry into the war on its side of Poland and the Baltic States. The front will increase dramatically, and Russia (which may have to defend not only the Kaliningrad region, but also Belarus) will again face the problem of the density of combat formations. The ability to solve this problem through a new wave of mobilization has limitations, both from the point of view of the economy and from the point of view of the army's ability to accept, clothe and train a new contingent, especially if the second wave goes immediately after the first, leaving no time for the rear services to adapt.
As you can see, the Russian leadership responds to the United States in two ways at once. In both cases, we point out that we have a strategic option that gives us a way out of the impasse — an official transition to a military confrontation with NATO. The United States does not want to take part in the conflict itself, preferring to receive bonuses without seriously risking anything. Therefore, this option does not suit them. They either have to put up with it urgently, allowing Russia to fully win back the advantage they gained through the next stage of raising rates (that is, on today's Russian terms, and possibly even worse), or leave the Eastern European members of the bloc without NATO's help, which will inevitably lead them to defeat in a direct conflict with Russia, or go on unwinding the nuclear crisis, risking the situation getting out of control.
The United States is at a crossroads. On the one hand, they want to try Russia for strength. It is too tempting to try to thwart the Russian offensive and still push through the peace talks to preserve the pro-American, Nazi, Russophobic regime in Ukraine, even if it has lost its southern territories.
On the other hand, they have already tried many times, and each time Russia turned out to be much stronger than they expected. If this time it turns out the same, the political, economic and image losses may be much greater than the Americans expected.
Another masterclass IMHO, with all the strategic elements needed for an accurate analysis of the current situation and its potential evolution, including the enlargement of the front and the nuclear provocations we are hearing about. Maybe Russia sees it fit now to deliver a much stronger blow to 404 in order to ensure their quick defeat before the West sets on fire Belarus (last statements from Lukashenko are indeed stern) and Kaliningrad via Poland and the Balts. On the one hand this explains the formation of a unified command with Belarus, but it would not surprise me at this time if the real mobilization in Russia were way bigger than officially stated, since they need to be ready both to defeat the nazis in pukraine but also cope with potentially dangerous attacks to a small, vulnerable area in Kaliningrad, dangerous attacks to the key Russian cities from the Balts and the strongly enlarged front that would need to be defended against Poland, both in Belarus and in 404. Only the volunteers that we are seeing going to the front should already come close or be even higher than those 300k.