As I have pointed out from the beginning of the conflict, the Kremlin’s presumption that Russia’s military intervention could be limited to driving the Ukrainian forces out of the Donbass region was a strategic blunder, especially the go-slow feature as it gave the West plenty of time to widen the war. A much wider war has now occurred if correct that one-third of the forces used in Ukraine’s “counteroffensive” in the Kharkov region were supplied by NATO member states.
According to Southfront’s report, thinly spread Russian forces, aware that an attack was coming, withdrew to a consolidated position and suffered few losses. The Ukrainian/NATO force suffered heavy losses. With Russian reinforcements now approaching the scene, the Ukrainian/NATO force will likely be destroyed as was the fate of the Ukrainian “counteroffensive” in the south.
I was criticized as “blood-thirsty” by commentators incapable of strategic thought when I said that a limited operation would result in a wider war and more casualties to both sides than a swift conquest of Ukraine before the US and NATO had a chance to get involved. Everyone who watched Washington’s limited involvement in Vietnam grow into a full-fledged long war should have known better than to repeat the folly. Apparently, the lesson escaped the Kremlin.
I increasingly wonder if what Putin and Lavrov really want is not Russian sovereignty and a multi-polar world but to be part of the West, and that this delusional desire makes them incapable of conducting war. It remains to be seen if Putin and Lavrov will give up Russian sovereignty in order to be part of the West. Russia, like all of Europe and the UK, must accept Washington’s hegemony.
The real world is based on power, and Russia’s delusional restraint on the use of its power has left Russia at extreme disadvantage. With Russia perceived in the West as weak and indecisive, Washington will push until Putin has no alternative but Russia’s surrender or nuclear war.