The Special Military Operation Has Failed, But the War May Start Soon
Since I have a lot of newcomers flooding in to read The Slavland Chronicles for the first time, I thought I’d explain my positions again, just so we’re clear and I don’t get accused of being something that I am not.
I am an unabashed Russia shill. I like Vladimir Putin and I support the Russian military. I believe that the slavic peoples ought to live in one country and no longer be used as cannon fodder against one another by the Jews. I support the integration of Ukraine into the territory of Russia and the reincorporation of Ukrainians into the Pax Russiya. I also believe that the Baltics ought to be taken back, as well as parts of Kazakhstan which were historically settled by Russians.
I do not have any ideology that I wish to promote on this blog. I do not believe in the voodoo teachings of Marx or Moses or Rothbard or even Ann Frank for that matter. In terms of world politics, I am concerned with only one thing, really: a strong, confident, revanchist Russia retaking her rightful place as a serious power on the world arena.
I am not here to sell you on a prefabricated narrative about Russia though. I will tell you the truth as best as I can understand it, and I will bring you the perspectives of the patriotic community in Russia, which by and large are in agreement with my positions. What you are going to hear me say here are the positions of a patriot of Russia who wants Russia to thrive and for the slavic peoples to be freed from the yoke of a foreign and hostile ethnic elite.
So, with all the out of the way …
Let me be blunt: this stage of the war in Ukraine has been lost by Russia.
Now, let me explain what I mean.
Russia thought that they could defeat Ukraine with a surprise dash to Kiev. But, because of a woefully incompetent spook apparatus, the Russians arrived in Kiev, but found that they were unable to do anything. Even though most of the politicians had fled to Poland, the gates of the city remained shut to the Russian army. A total intelligence failure. Russia withdrew and switched to plan B. That was the end of Phase 1.
Phase 2 was a concentrated push against fortified Ukrainian positions in the Donbass. Gains were made, albeit at heavy cost in both time, bodies and munitions. The Russians were unprepared for how entrenched the Ukrainians were, and, apparently, didn’t expect NATO to start sending supplies, advisors, sharing intelligence and so on to help the Ukrainians hold on. As the summer began, the Russians realized that they simply didn’t have the men to make any big pushes. They settled for entrenching their own positions and relying on their superior artillery firepower to inflict damage on the Ukrainians. At the same time, because the Ukrainians enjoyed a 3:1 advantage in manpower, they quietly massed a breakthrough group that attacked a part of the line that was poorly defended in Kharkov. Another massive intelligence failure - one made all the more inexcusable by the fact that random autist-enthusiasts on the internet had independently figured what would happen a month prior to the attack. The UAF broke though and then enveloped many Russian positions, causing a hasty retreat and the abandonment of gear, ammo, soldiers, and hard-won settlements, effectively leaving the people there who could not escape to their grisly fate at the hands of the SBU.
Phases 1 and 2 were part of the “Special Military Operation” or the so-called “policing operation,” as it was referred to for awhile in Russia and enforced by the FSB. You could get in trouble for referring to the war as a war, and while it was mostly Liberals who were pushed around for being “anti-War” the message to the patriot community was also clear: no calling this thing a war, we’re not at war, got it? Literal police units like OMON, SOBR and the FSB as well as some professional troops and militia units were used in these phases.
We’ve talked before about why Russia decided to do things this way. Some speculations:
By using police and contractors, the Kremlin could avoid having to appeal to the people (Marko’s take)
The cost would be less
By referring to and treating this as a policing operation, the Kremlin could avoid the embarrassment of having to admit that it’s political, diplomatic and spook class had completely lost Ukraine (my theory)
The “Special Military Operation” or the “policing operation” are now both well and truly over.
Now we’re waiting to see if the war might actually begin in earnest.
Power stations were hit in Ukraine for the first time last night. We wait with bated breath to see if this is an actual escalation and a change in the rules of engagement on the Russian side or just a temper tantrum.
Let me explain briefly what war would actually look like:
The use of Russia’s actual military might (barely 200,000 men were deployed so far)
No longer fighting at a 3:1 numerical disadvantage to the Ukrainians
Knocking out bridges, supply trains, the tunnel in the Carpathian and so on
Targeted killing of enemy politicians and commanders and spooks
Preparing to adopt a full war economy at home
Here are some of the problems that hamper the Russian effort at this time.
Not enough men on the front
Poor intelligence on a lower and higher level
Poor equipment and training for non-pros
Terrorism and sabotage by Ukrainians
Graft, sabotage, and incompetence by the FSB
Opportunistic local fief lords in the Donbass
Piss-poor communication with the public from government agencies
Hardly an exhaustive list, but there you have it.
The howl of outrage on Telegram, the alternative patriotic Russian media and even on state TV (albeit far more muted) was really something to see. Russians are angry, confused and looking for answers.
I don’t get it either.
There are two dominant narratives emerging at this time:
Traitors in power vs we’re up against a powerful NATO army
Both groups are calling for an escalation of the conflict. The Kremlin is to the “left” of both of these groups, but maybe forced to meet them halfway.
The first group believes that heads must roll - that there are people in places of power deliberately hampering the war effort or even passing on critical information to the Ukrainians. I don’t know about the latter claim, but the former rings true. The problem is that this war was fought as a “compromise war” from the very beginning. Most of the Russian political establishment couldn’t stomach a real war, and yet, Putin and the military believed that the situation was critical and that something had to be done. Thus, the “halvsy” war was birthed out of political necessity. And Russians have died needlessly because of this political wrangling.
As for the second narrative, well, it deflects blame, sure, but it too necessitates escalation because if the reason that the Russians were routed was because of NATO training, intelligence, weapons and maybe even clandestine special forces, well then how can you continue justify continuing the ineffective “policing operation”. This means war, no? And for many politicians and comprador businessmen, this means that the last hope that they had for the war petering out and the status quo returning will be dashed.
Those are the patriot positions. Both will lead to the start of an actual war in Ukraine, and sweeping changes at home in Russia too, no doubt.
The current government narrative, in contrast, is that this was a strategic withdrawal and that all is going according to plan. You can believe that if you want. Some people think that allowing themselves to be lied to makes them good citizens or something I guess.