It’s hard to believe that after you retire from work you really have less time to write than you did while you were working. There’s that, and the things that have been happening in recent month’s just makes me shake my head and wonder where we are heading as a country. Our country surely seems dysfunctional. So what topic to write about? No matter what direction you look there is not a lot of good news out there. Let’s look at the Russia/Ukrainian no win win war.
I think Putin has stepped into a pile of defecate.
He amassed a huge force on the border of Ukraine months ahead of the invasion allowing NATO to develop a sanction plan that will eventually do great harm to the already fragile Russian economy. As always, the average Russian citizen will bear the greatest burden of these sanctions. Putin will face tough choices as a result of this. When things get unbearable in Russia, people will begin to revolt and Putin will either crack down on the protesters in a ruthless manner or he will try and get out of Ukraine and save face at the same time.
Putin, I believe, will crack down on internal protests and he will continue to conquer Ukraine because that is the only way for him to proceed. If he were to withdraw from Ukraine he will be forced to pay for the repairs to Ukraine his invasion has caused. That will take decades and billions of his oil money. Russia really can’t afford that, so he will continue to try and conquer Ukraine, and if successful he can make repairs in his own time using the resources of Ukraine.
Back to the defecate.
I think that Putin’s military planners grossly underestimated the fighting ability of the Ukrainian military and they grossly overestimated the condition of the Russian military. Some years back I saw a picture of some Russian military equipment as it was being transported to a port in Syria. The equipment looked worn, rusted, and generally in bad shape. If this is any indication of the equipment they are using in Ukraine then I tend to believe what I read on many Russian tanks and other transports having mechanical problems and being abandoned. This has led to the invasion of Ukraine taking longer than Putin and his team estimated. This has also allowed neighboring NATO countries to re-supply the Ukrainian forces with ammo, anti-tank weapons, and anti-aircraft missiles. This is all bad news for Putin’s invasion force who appear to be fighting with dilapidated equipment and soldiers with low morale and little training.
Let’s say Putin successfully occupies Ukraine. What I believe he will face will be a long drawn out deadly fight with Ukrainian guerilla warriors that will sabotage his military presence there for many years. It will be another Afghanistan for Russia but this time on steroids because they will be contending with trained and well supplied Ukrainian soldiers. Also, the sanctions against Russia will continue which will exasperate his domestic problems at home.
I really see only one way for Russia to exit Ukraine and not face prolonged economic pain and it will require two things, (1) Putin must resign from power and another Russian leader with peaceful intentions assume power and (2) NATO will need to be merciful on Russia for the sake of the average Russian citizen. This means the harsh sanctions will need to be rolled back as soon as the Russians withdraw from Ukraine.
Do I believe Putin will leave power? If he cares about the Russian people he will. So I don’t know if he will or not because even if he does he will probably be tried as a war criminal along with some of his generals. Perhaps if he could negotiate some sort of amnesty for himself and others contingent on him resigning and withdrawing from Ukraine then he might abandon his office.
It’s really a shame that in this day and time leaders still resort to war to take what they desire. War is such a horrible waste. Nothing good ever occurs from war. There is death, destruction, families torn apart, homes destroyed, and lives are permanently disrupted.
So Putin, if you care about Russia and her citizens you must withdraw from Ukraine and resign from office. You have committed a fatal mistake and you must do the honorable thing for your country and the wellbeing of everyday Russians who stand to lose everything and gain nothing from your ill-conceived war.