Tentative forecast: Ukraine SMO
This is a writing from the TG channel Donbass Devushka written by a regular contributor Alcibiades. My comments follow:
Alcibiades on the War: Ultimatum.
Something’s caught my attention over the last several days. Russian leaders have, across the board, become noticeably more substantive in their rhetoric about the war and where it’s going. Specifically, I noticed that today Sergei Lavrov said, clearly and plainly, that unless the Ukrainians accept their country’s new map, demilitarize and throw out the Nazis, then the Russian Army would do it for them. He’s the country’s chief diplomat and he knows exactly what’s happening behind the scenes because he’s running the civil side of it. Medvedev has said far worse. Putin, meanwhile, has made milder statements, calling the Ukrainians a “brother people” and underlining Russia’s willingness to conduct negotiations. Beginning from its terms, of course.
At the same time, we have also not seen any large-scale attacks on Ukraine since Zelensky’s Washington trip last week, even after another drone attack at Engels AFB. This is not for lack of capability – the Russians likely have more missiles now than ever. They’re simply waiting and not responding even to the most blatant provocations. And it’s not just the bombers that are waiting, the Russians have largely moved the pieces into place to conduct a strategic offensive the moment Putin gives the order. But the tanks have not rolled yet. So what’s afoot?
I believe the Russians may have given Ukraine’s leadership an ultimatum – delivered privately and intended for serious consideration, probably after Zelensky’s Washington trip failed to garner any serious new support. Surrender now or there won’t be anything left to surrender come the spring. And the Ukrainians may be giving it serious enough consideration that “entities unknown” organized the latest provocation at Engels in an attempt to derail things. I note, by the way, that the Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk has also died down in the last several days.
Food for thought anyways.
The writer notices: “Russian leaders have, across the board, become noticeably more substantive in their rhetoric about the war and where it’s going. Specifically, I noticed that today Sergei Lavrov said, clearly and plainly, that unless the Ukrainians accept their country’s new map, demilitarize and throw out the Nazis, then the Russian Army would do it for them.”
Both AHH and myself noticed the change in rhetoric, but not only from Russia. This change in rhetoric, the language used, and the increased tone and tempo is noticeable all over the world. The SMO is the issue of our times, out of which many other issues flowed. Even Global Times has this above the fold: “Russia-Ukraine conflict ‘could further escalate in 2023；’ negotiation impossible before ‘key change in battlefield’ ”
Guterres from the UN is now suddenly available to mediate the conflict. These and the doddering old Kissinger’s attempts are focused on taking the collective west out of a burner where they have put themselves and saving some face. Listening to the rhetoric, the time is past for any western saving face.
The writer believes: “… the Russians may have given Ukraine’s leadership an ultimatum – delivered privately and intended for serious consideration, probably after Zelensky’s Washington trip failed to garner any serious new support.”
This is the point that calls for our attention. I think he is right. Nevertheless, I don’t think it will go anywhere. There has to be a perpetual war somewhere, to make the US military-industrial complex gears function. They ran from Afghanistan. Ukraine is still their best bet to perpetuate this war, a hot war, at this moment in time.
The issue becomes very much bigger than that. Take a listen to SmoothieX12’s latest video. He is of the opinion that the US / Collective West will and indeed must escalate to the nuclear threshold. The rest of his video, embedded below, is then an analysis of the weaponry, which is his specialized knowledge.
Here is what I glean from all of this. Although every analyst and commentator everywhere emphasizes a coming Russian offensive (in the Ukraine SMO), I don’t see evidence of this per se. This may be so, but it is not the key driver here. Yeah, there are troop buildups and increases in the Russian defense forces and everyone that can lick a spoon is flying drones, and China and Russia are still busy with their Naval war games, so we can go on and make a good list of all the serious trouble spots. We also know that the events in the Ukraine SMO are not about the country of the Ukraine as such. The core is that it is about NATO expansion, and the SMO is analogue.
What I see evidence of (not physically at this stage but in the rhetoric), is Martyanov’s opinion (and the build-up of Russia’s forces and China’s forces and the Japanese military buildup and the change in the heat of the rhetoric across the world), is that we have come to a point where we must say … we’re done with these threats. Bring it on! The alternative is that we hang in there and understand that Russia is demilitarizing NATO for us and trust that they will deal with the almost certain escalation to the nuclear threshold. Here is the M. K. BHADRAKUMAR article referred to in the video.