Почему войну с Украиной невозможно выиграть / @Максим Кац

Почему войну с Украиной невозможно выиграть / @Максим Кац

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Vladimir Putin has unleashed the war which cannot be won. Yet again Putin had a pretty picture in mind, wanted to bring up his support, reckoned on “weak West” to just sanction 200 thousand pounds to be held on London accounts. 4 days later there is a lot of blood, complete isolation, which gets worse every day, no “Crimean effect” whatsoever, only mass horror. Even those who had been joyous about annexation of “All-Soviet health resort” 8 years ago appeared to be absolutely not ready for Russian artillery bombing Kiev and Germany providing Ukraine with weapons to kill Russian soldiers. It has appeared to be very easy to launch this new reality in which it is possible to declare war against neighboring state for no reason one aged autocrat with fantasies of putative greatness is just enough.

And for many years from now on the humankind will beat its heads over the question of not ever letting it happen again. It is not just a war against Ukraine, it is a war against the whole of the developed world. Apart from soldiers in the field, this war has already killed Russian civil aviation, and so many other sectors depending on import and technologies will meet their fate, Russian Ruble is dead, but what scares us the most — future of our country is dead as well. First of all, let’s try to understand why Russian army isn't succeeding. By the end of day 4 Russian government has everything: killed soldiers, videos of captives hideous sanctions piling up and no significant advancement, no occupied town for Ministry of Defense to boast about. Why, everything went so well in Syria for example.

Such a cinematic picture: modern and powerful army performs missions calmly and steadily, without significant losses. And now in Ukranian videos we see Russian captives — young men not prepared for war with no understanding of what`s going on and where they find themselves. In order to understand why Russian army is stuck now, we need to see how an army differs from a group of armed people and how Ukraine is no Syria. What do we need to know about an army. Army is not a mass of people with weapons. Mass of people with weapons can be named irregulars, militia, guerilla movement, but no army.

Army is in the first place a management system, a system of training, subordination and discipline, logistics and provision. Army is this kind of thing, where tens and hundreds of thousands of people located far from each other perform different missions and act as one entity to reach stated goals. Army can be compared to construction of a huge object like a bridge or an electric plant, or an airport. A lot of crews participate in the construction, each crew is in charge of a single specific and local activity: someone lays bricks, someone conveys wiring, someone lays pipes.

Each bricklayer, electrician, engineer and block supervisor has very little idea of what is going to be in the whole, when the construction is over. They just perform their jobs for the day: to pour concrete castings on several square meters, for example. But in the end there is real magic: all those little tasks, when performed, lead to a new, fresh shining operating building. If we just collect hundreds of untrained people, tell them that we want a new airport and give them construction materials with no consolidated plan, with no control and coordination, there will be no airport, of course, there will be even no construction, just a dump. The same story is with an army. Each division, platoon, troop, battalion, brigade and division performs it's own task within the frame that starts from securing of a warehouse and up to defense of a whole city, from delivery of weapons and food to destruction of armored regiments.

But all these tasks are coordinated by the headquarters, they are performed by trained and disciplined soldiers and commanding, they are aimed at a sole plan: besiege an enemy`s garrison, struck at rear areas, cut off provision, retract enemy`s power from strategically important areas with diversionary tactics. It`s not the same as to force against an enemy with a crowd of people holding weapons. War with a regular army which knows what it does is not the same as to kill yesterday farm workers holding assault rifles today. And it’s not about nominal amount as well, it’s about the fact that a war is a technology, management technology in the first place. It is the technology that allows tens and hundreds of thousands of people, completely different divisions — from elite forces to a simple fuel tanker driver — to work as a single organism. Today we see the Ukrainian army, which was drastically reformed in the last several years, with westernised management system defenses its own land.

And lastly there is still something that hasn`t changed in wars since the times of spears and arrows instead of precision missiles: troops morale is the foundation for any army. Ukrainians fight for their home. They have nowhere to retreat, Their Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Zelenskiy is in the thick of things and speaks to people and soldiers every day. You`d think that it is not that important in times of remote-piloted vehicles and satellites, but it was important 5 thousand years ago and it still is important now: understandable goals of fighting, commander alongside his soldiers. Russian soldiers came to a foreign land, where no one was glad to see them. They have no idea what they are doing there.

Most of them thought it was training. This also is an interesting moment. One cannot fight a war based on constant lying. Just imagine the level of disorganization, when different divisions, police troops and Federal National Guard Troops Services have to perform a sole operation, but, as far as we know, even the high commanding had had no idea of what was going to happen, so they just cannot cooperate.

Protection of a homeland and total unity around the Commander-in-Chief on the one side. Disorganizing and killing any cooperation lying, mission with no aims or clear goals, mission on hostile territory - on the other. And finally, this is an operation with the Commander-In-Chief, who is nowhere to be found. He speaks from a room with no windows, he keeps even his own generals on the other side of a long table.

What a time for a diligent self-isolation and anti-virus measures, when your soldiers die in a foreign land. And, of course, the essential: no one understands why we need it. Why do Russian soldiers try to seize Kharkiv and Kyiv, why do they go there in tanks, why do they fire that way? There is no explanation, Russian leaders don`t understand that, Russian people don`t understand that, soldiers firing the arms don`t understand that as well. Why? But the key question and the key problem here are different. They are in the fact that this war has no principal winning point. There is no outcome here that can be considered, even by Putin, as “winning”.

Because if “winning” is considered as formal defeat of a regular army - it is just awful. This is a winning with no difference from a defeat. It will not be the end of the war; the war will continue for an indefinite amount of time. When you look at the map you may be confused: why, Ukraine is just as big as a couple of Russian regions.

But its population of 40 million people is just 3,5 times less than the population of Russia. I`ve told before, how different is the Ukrainian community now from what it was 8 years ago, how supporters of uniting, integration or even junction with Russia have turned there from powerful parties to an absolute minority. But it all became unimportant in the morning of February 24th, it has become distant past.

All citizens of Ukraine saw missiles flying towards their towns, saw tanks on their streets, they hear about dead and wounded every day. They enlist in area defense detachments in wholesale numbers, they take weapons in their hands. Meanwhile the tanks and the missiles are coming from Russia A week ago we could still speak about something like unfriendly territory. Today, when Russian troops have brought there death and pointless destruction, we speak about a hostile territory. A 40-million populated hostile territory, whose people hold assault rifles and mix Molotov cocktails. This means that “winning” in Ukraine now can only be accomplished through hardest of fights, taking tens or even hunreds of thousands of Russian soldiers` lives: street fights, fights when people shoot from their windows, fights in towns and cities, where every heavy armored vehicles, especially tanks, from dreadful forces become movable coffins.

We saw this already during attempts to assault Grozny, how tactics powerful during field fights in 1943 appeared to be absolutely suicidal during street fights, how powerless and clumsy were these weapons of war. And we talk not of one city of 300 thousand of population now. We talk about tens of huge cities, and each of them will become like Grozny for Russia. And when this price will be paid, even if the resistance will be broken, what seems absolutely unlikely now, afterwards, a full-scale occupation will be required. Once again: a full-scale occupation of a hostile 40-million population, mostly armed.

It will require hundreds of thousands of soldiers as well, constantly. Almost all of the regular Russian army will have to stay in Ukraine, and they will die there every day. And Russia will also have to provide for all of this territory, as there will be no economics there of their own, not even close. It`s not Abkhazia with South Ossetia, with the total of 300 thousand population, not DPR and LPR, where couple of millions people left, at best.

It`s not the same as fattening Lukashenko, it is full providing for a land populated just 3,5 times less than your own country. Literally, like Chechnya, only 30 times bigger. Let me remind you: this is what Putin`s “winning” will look like, and even it is nowhere close to be found. Even the Ministry of Defense of Russia, which has no shame to lie about everything at all, cannot think of any point to be named as mediate winning today, at the end of the 4th day of the war. It becomes clear, which was the plan: to paralyze and destroy the key military infrastructure, to make the Ukrainian government flee or surrender and afterwards - to repeat 2014th, when “polite people” with no resistance whatsoever, with no fighting, with complete support of locals, with flowers and kittens enter cities and take governing positions. Sanctions of the developed lands seemed just nominal, and effects on Putin`s ratings and support seemed just wonderful.

To occupy one of the biggest European countries with almost no fighting, to return it under Russian influence - a huge step in restoration of the USSR, or whatever he was going to restore there, no one has managed to understand it yet. But the problem with this plan is the following: it is not a plan, it is a Putin’s dream. Putin anticipated something like that, based on his own strange views, it had nothing to do with the reality, and we can see it now clearly. Still, based on this utter nonsense ten thousands Russian soldiers were sent to Ukraine. And now they are dying there and killing Ukrainians.

As we can judge based on number of indirect indicators, the Russian army is suffering heavy casualties. We should be very careful about any kind of information here: there is almost no checked data, and the subject is very sensitive, many gamble on it. The Ministry of Defense has finally admitted that there are actually dead and wounded, but still locks up the numbers. I have to say that this bold secrecy, like killed Russian soldiers is something unimportant, something not worthy of mentioning, is not just shocking, it is startling.

What is their plan at all? Provide counterfeit statistics? Suppress the subject? And then just publish the numbers in the end? But it seems like nothing in this story has been planned for more than a day at all. Lots of photos and videos online with damaged equipment, with killed and captured Russians. These are not fakes for sure, these are just things caught on cameras. The Ukrainian side rates the amount of Russian casualties at more than 4 thousand dead. Christo Grozev of Bellingcat published on Saturday that he estimates it at the minimum of three thousand. If this is true, then casualties of the Russian army in 3 days of the war with Ukraine are comparable with all casualties of the First Chechen war, which lasted for two years.

It is near the quarter of all USSR casualties in the Afghan War, which lasted for 10 years. Numbers of ruined war equipment are uncountable. Our country has not suffered such losses daily since the Second World War.

Once again, I can say that it is all logical and explainable. Our army is absolutely unmotivated, our soldiers, who have no idea why they are there and often think that they are still in training, met regular professional army fighting for its homeland. Therefore, such an income is no surprise, it is simply logical. And there is no visible outcome of the operation in these 4 days. On daily briefing the Minister of Defense pours a shower of numbers of destroyed infrastructure objects and occupied localities, but we cannot check what was really destroyed or occupied, and seizure of villages in the Lugansk Region can hardly be considered as impressive advance of the Russian Army for long.

Even Ramzan Kadyrov speaks out critics of actions of the Russian Army, he demands what he calls “a large-scale operation”, that is actually mass bombing of Ukrainian towns and cities. Be what it be, says Kadyrov, a war is to kill and to destroy. Let me remind you that we are still speaking about the war against Ukraine. The war, which is absolutely unnecessary, the only reason for which are demons in Vladimir Putin`s head who told him to send the Russian army to Ukraine in order to safe Ukrainian people, who weren`t actually seized by anyone. There is no need of this war, it has no grounds, it even has no formal casus belli.

Russia just attacked Ukraine without any reason and without any goal whatsoever. And this fact changed absolutely everything, just like that. There is no Putin regime we`re so used to anymore, which we`ve analyzed and determined for the last few years.

Russia we lived in and we were used to is gone. Carefully built in two last decades system of communications and agreements was demolished in three days. Putin lost support of all politics he had persistently recruited with adulation, blackmail and of course money. We are now talking European politicians and US-politicians.

Czech president Zeman, Hungarian prime minister Orban, even ex German Chancellor Schroeder expressed disapproval of this war. Even Donald Trump, as he does it, blasted Joe Biden and called the invasion of Ukraine “this horrific disaster”. Even Lukashenko engages in separate negotiations with Zelensky and emphasizes in interviews that no Belorussian soldier, no Belorussian missile has entered Ukraine.

We know the worth of his words, though We don`t know it yet, but it is quite possible that Putin has lost support of Russian elite, as they had borne enormous losses for no reason as well. And in Russia celebrities that used to support the regime has already spoken against the war. For example, hockey player Alexander Ovechkin, who founded Putin Team movement in 2018 in support of Putin during presidential elections. The loyalist of oligarchs faltered. Mikhail Fridman, born in Lvov, says that what is happening now is a tragedy for Russians and for Ukrainians. Oleg Deripaska advocates for negotiations with Ukraine.

You can find those who support the invasion if you try, but all of them are on state salary. And their ranks will thin out soon. Because the longer the war will take place, the worse the news will be from Ukraine.

And it is not only about military failures. Imagine Russian soldiers who are now somewhere under Kyiv or Kharkiv. Surviving death and wounds of their fellows, thousands kilometers away from home, under unimaginable levels of stress 24/7, expecting death at any moment: either from a drone or from locals, hungry and tired - they will become more and more angry every day. This mechanism leads to war crimes against civilians. And in case of the war with Ukraine this will be like blasting bomb. Absolutely no one in Russia sees Ukrainian people as enemies.

Even the government says that we fight against some mystical Bandera followers. Maybe military data is classified but there is one thing about this war that makes it special: losses among Ukrainian, especially civil population, are considered as tragedy by Russians as well. And it is indeed a tragedy That is why it was vitally important for Putin to perform this war as a fast special operation: to come in quickly, block large cities, seize the presidential office, arrest or kill Zelensky. Next day it is quiet, no one understands anything, new pro-Russia Kiev government negotiates about entering of new denazificated Ukraine into the CSTO. Of course western countries will introduce sanctions, but not too significant, why, no one is fighting any arms, no one is dying, just Zelensky changed for Medvedchuk for example these are just some internal Ukrainian affairs, in which no one had any interest 4 days ago. We can see that the attitude was such from different data, including public data.

For example, this is a fake order of Shoygu on daily routine of Pskov commando. The order introduces invasion of Ukraine, seizure of Kyiv, Gazmanov concert and celebration fireworks in one day. Of course, this was not a real order, just peculiar military humor, but it shows very good a careless attitude towards upcoming invasion. Like, we`ll destroy those Ukrainians in no time, our armor is strong, our tanks are fast. You may be surprised by discussion of the fake order in my blog, as we usually do not discuss such nonsense here.

But the thing is that this order was discussed by propaganda, and just look how Order of the Minister of Defense Shoygu: 6am - wakeup 7am - morning toilette 8am - breakfast 12pm - lunch 1pm - capture of Kyiv 6pm - Gazmanov concert 9pm - fireworks The only thing missing is date, Evgeniy Petrovich, in all other aspects, I think, it is not far away from the truth Cocksure attitude can also be seen in an article published by RIA News on February 26th, which was then deleted. You can find it now in the web-archive or just google “New Russia and the new world coming” - some media reposted that. This is an absolutely nazi text in its substance. There are phrases like “solution of Ukrainian question”, “building new world order”, “returning of historical areas to Russia”. The author describes how Ukrainian capital has fallen one day after the “special operation” had begun. In propaganda fantasy Kyiv came to Russian militaries hands on its own.

This article was published as planned at 8am. I mean, maybe it was put off and they somehow forgot to take it down It seems now that the whole Ukrainian campaign was planned under such cocksure attitude. The Ukrainian military won`t resist, the Ukrainian people will meet Russian tanks if not with joy, then at least neutrally. And Pskov commando will require several hours to seize Kyiv. But blitzkrieg failed. Ukrainians don`t meet Russian soldiers with flowers.

The Ukrainian army fights back and does not negotiate about peaceful retreat, how it happened mostly in 2014. Ukrainians themselves estimate the situation unambiguously, they are united. While in Moscow there are lines to ATMs, in Ukrainian cities there are lines for weapons. Zelensky`s rating reached to 91% - unbelievable rating, which shows absolute people`s support. Kremlin has cornered itself in zugzwang, when each next step will inevitably worsen the situation.

Therefore, there is only one and one only rightful way. To withdraw troops from Ukraine and to stop the occupational war. To quit supporting separatists in so called DPR and LPR.

To stop trying to take the Ukrainian people`s legal right to choose their own presidents, determine Russian language status and so on. It is their country, why did we interfere anyway? Now, considering what has been done by Putin, there is a long way to the point of no open and vocal hatred from Ukrainians. But we have to step on this way as soon as possible, the sooner - the better. Once again, won`t stop repeating: Russia is in the illegitimate and occupational war. It`s illegitimate nature becomes more and more obvious to everybody: from world`s community to our own soldiers.

This war has no significant support from anybody but bloggers for food and celebrities of the same kind. Liberals, nationalists, loyalists - doesn`t matter, each person, who doesn`t make money on the war, demands for it to stop - either directly or indirectly. Could you imagine that one day Artemy Lebedev and Victor Shenderovich would write the same thing? Well, that happened. Even the historical base, on which Putin has been thriving last years, now works against him. Because there is one easy and obvious fact. Before Putin Kiev was bombed only by Hitler. Parallels, which Putin wouldn`t want, are impossible to be avoided, as it seems.

I would like to end with the following. There is a man, Evgeny Olegovich Komarovsky, we know him as Doctor Komarovsky. He is pediatrician, popular in the post-Soviet area host of educational TV-shows on medicine in whole and children`s medicine in part. Tens of millions of Russian-speaking viewers are used to seeing him, calm and clear-headed specialist, in many TV-shows, in his own YouTube-channel, which has more than 3 million subscribers. Important speaker for children`s health he has become even more important speaker for vaccination during the pandemic. He lives in Kharkiv and his last videos are not about what to give to your child if there is a rash of some kind, they are about people hiding in basements, about Russian armored vehicles Tigr caught on fire on Kharkiv streets.

This is what Putin has done in last days. The main pediatrician of Russian-speaking area reports on Russia attacking his country, his city. It won`t get better tomorrow.

However, see you tomorrow, my friends.

2022-03-01 19:57

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