Russia is escalating the war. In what reality does Putin live?

2 January, 02:10 PM

The West has tried to find hints of readiness for negotiations in Putin's latest statements, but  But it was all just wishful thinking

We can state today that Russia's position has not changed. The goals set at the beginning of the war (we are not talking about demilitarization and denazification) remain. The main goal is the destruction of Ukraine (what terms they use is not important) as a sovereign state, as a nation, and this has not changed. The main reason that they insist on Ukraine’s capitulation (read the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov) is that Russia is just not able to take into account the facts and realities that have developed up to this point.

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Lavrov is trying to convince us that Crimea is a long-closed issue for them, as well as temporarily-occupied Donbas and the "new lands" seized after February 23. We are talking about other realities, about whether Russia currently has the ability to achieve its objectives using military force.

These realities are not recognized in the Kremlin, and they have their own distorted realities that are put on Putin's table.

It is obvious that during at least the last three months, Russia has not achieved any success of this kind, or even any operational successes. And there are more and more compelling reasons to believe that Ukraine is capable of conducting another successful offensive operation on one of the other fronts. I can imagine how his military brass (which he recently assembled) said, ‘Vladimir Vladimirovich, something went wrong, but we are now preparing mobilized troops, and in the near future there will be 150 thousand of them, which is even more than Russia had before the invasion, our conscripts called up in the spring can fight in three months, and our Uralvagonzavod works in three shifts...

That is, they are trying to support Putin's confidence that Russia is a great military power and that all these difficulties are temporary. There is still an alternative source of information — the so-called Russian military bloggers — but Putin has long given government positions to the most influential ones and brought them closer to his circle, where they have already begun self-censoring. This is why Putin is protected from bad news. Well, we'll see what good this is doing for him.

If we return to the report of the British Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), one of the key components of the Russian defeat was called the Soviet culture of "military business." This is embedded deeply in the Russian understanding of how to make a career and how to achieve success. And that's why this bad news is either not reported until the last moment, because there is hope that maybe, something will suddenly change, or that the commander will be replaced and everything can be blamed on him. This is the peculiar position of an ostrich — head in the sand to the very end. But of course, sooner or later, this truth will come out. The trouble (with no pity at all for these Russian commanders) is that inadequate assessments of the situation lead to miscalculations, starting from the decision to launch an invasion and ending with the situation we have now. It would seem logical that Russia should now be looking for a compromise solution, but on the contrary, its situation is only worsening.

The pseudo-leader Dmitri Medvedev wrote a forecast for 2023 the other day. This is how the Kremlin imagines everything. He said that while everything may not be very good now, in 2023 everything will be as Russia dreams.

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