So far the Russian military operation in Ukraine has been a reconnaissance in force preceded by the destruction of the supplies and headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by standoff weapons. The object being to suss out where the Ukrainian forces are, to surround them, to check existing Russian intelligence against reality and, at the same time, destroy known headquarters, air and naval assets, supplies and ammunition depots. And, perhaps, there was the hope that the speed and success (Russian/LDPR forces dominated an area of Ukraine about the size of the United Kingdom in the first week) would force an early end (aka recognition of reality).
At the moment they are readying for the next phase. The long column that so obsessed the “experts” on CNN is the preparation for the next phase. And that is this: “You didn’t get the hint, so now we have to hit you”. The fact that the column has been sitting there indicates that the Russians know they have complete air superiority. Secondly it is a message to the Ukrainian armed forces that it’s over, give up. (And one should never forget that the Russians/Soviets have always been the best at strategic deception, so who knows what’s actually there versus what the images show?)
…As to Western sanctions against Russia, I think there’s a very simple answer to that: last week 1000 cubic metres of gas cost $1,000; today it’s over twice that. Next week it certainly won’t be cheaper. Ditto for aluminum, potash, titanium, wheat. Russian airlines lease their planes; now what? Russian rocket motors. What the people in the West do not understand is the ruble is the currency the Russians use inside the country but the price of oil and gas is the Russian currency outside the country. I am astounded at the stupidity: they’re cutting their own throats and destroying their own economies.link
Terrific short article, don’t miss it. ABN
This comment below the article takes an opposite and interesting view:
With all respect to the author, it appears he’s missing the bigger picture. I tend to agree more with Mike Whitney’s recent work. This war may wind up a moral victory for Putin, and further cement the reality of a multipolar world. But that world had already arrived. From everything I’ve seen, the American Empire is winning across the board and getting what they wanted. They’ve further isolated Russia, killing many important trade deals and good relations with European countries, especially Germany. All of this, while hurting Europe, will only enhance the power and dominance of the US over these nations. They can possibly drag Putin into a long term conflict that will cost Russia money and resources. They’ve demonized Putin to an astonishing degree, so much so that soft liberals across America and Europe are frothing out the mouth ready for WW3. My liberal aunt, who works as a guidance counselor for an American public school, went on and on today about how she wants to kill Putin and is going to adopt a Ukrainian “refugee dog.” (!!!) They’ve managed to completely sidestep the massive repercussions from a failed and disastrously consequential Covid policy. They’re also using this conflict as a justification for rising costs and rapid inflation at home. It’s quite possible that in the long term the West is shooting itself in the foot, but we all know it was doing that anyway. In terms of oligarchic power, narrative control, American ideological and political power, imperial financial dominance, this has been a huge win. European countries and their citizens may understand that America created this crisis which they will pay for, but I have no way of knowing if they actual do because the narrative uniformity is so solid. Likewise, America may be in some way taking a blow to its reputation, but it does not appear to be so. Please, someone tell me how I am wrong.link