Hello, let me quickly introduce myself because I have 0 posts and don't want people to think I've suddenly para-dropped on to the forum. I know some members and mods from mp.net/key aero, back from the day (15ish years ago). I've also been involved in site Aviapedia if any of you stumbled to it. Been lurking this forum ever since those mentioned went dodo. My primary interest is not war but hardware.
I've been following this war day by day since SMO launch, from both sides. Although one side is clearly more down to earth in reporting than the other. (and that's an understatement...)
The thing is, if you don't comment day by day and especially if you're not so tied to block politics, it's still not clear to me what are the acceptable endgame scenarios for Russia.
Lets presume even if Ukraine signs off territory (defeat), that they'll keep on training the anti-Russian military forces in their sovereign territory. Even if Russia had supervision there (which is something I guess Ukrainians will never sign), it would still go on. Western money is practically infinite as are their weapons, it's just that they need time. They can't send 100 billion and 1000 tanks to Ukraine today but if you give them 2-3 years they will. That's the problem with adversary such as NATO states. The legitimacy they have at home is based on standard of living. If they dig into that standard with a big shovel, people are going to be pissed. But if they tea spoon resources all the time, they'll still mound a big pile, just over time.
I mean it's a problem today for USA to hand out 15.000 shells daily, but it won't be a problem tomorrow if they set their minds to it. Let's not kid ourselves these are the people that went to the moon from an underdog position.
For me the issue is that west public has a quite of slice of people that are hell bent on "defeating Russia". Regardless of Ukraine, both the spirit of nation and the territory, there is no peace after this, it's Cold War 2.0 and even peace in Europe will turn itself into arms race and heavy militarization of everyone involved.
RF on itself cannot win a prolonged arms/tech race, USSR couldn't. IMO. RF's competitiveness is not only in cheaper labour and materials and cheaper MIC overall, but also in the fact that American cots and EU milspec components were available to them up to ~10 years ago. There is also ever present fact that RF simply doesn't order enough of its own stuff and especially the cutting edge projects. Every other vapourware shit American MIC "pilot project" gets billions and years of funding.
Regardless how war in Ukraine turns out, heavy times are ahead of Russia. Things are never going to be the same. Chinese-Russian rapport has been largely based on one-sided cutting edge tech transfers. China is developing faster than Russia by definition, so that's not a reason for stable alliance.
So, some things to possibly consider in analyzing military decisions of today. Every big turnaround in Ukraine projects a new possible geopolitical situation which the powers will have to deal for decades.