What is happening around Ukraine’s counteroffensive

18 May, 11:00 PM
It became known about the delivery of the M2 Bradley to Ukraine in January 2023 (Photo:Photo:Joker/Twitter)

It became known about the delivery of the M2 Bradley to Ukraine in January 2023 (Photo:Photo:Joker/Twitter)

We see some strategic perspectives, but eventually, the course of those strategic perspectives is laid out in individual tactical steps.

Geopolitically, nothing has changed around Ukraine. The weapons promised to us in the framework of the geopolitical situation that existed a few months ago are suitable. But the geopolitical situation may change if successes are achieved at the strategic level within the offensive operation. How it might change is hard to say. That is why the Chinese special representative is coming here to assess the situation somehow. To evaluate the possible consequences and determine whose side they should go? To continue pulling Putin's hair out of the swamp and saying, "You're drowning, fool, and I'll take your swamp for myself."

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But in the meantime, we are seeing a lot of tactical actions that prepare the field for an offensive. I have yet to see that the offensive has begun. The fact is that the offensive will be a reserve competition. There are successes in the Bakhmut direction - great. And now the intelligence is watching - have the (Russian) strategic reserves moved in that direction?

I would not treat Russia - our enemy - contemptuously. Many are overwhelmed by euphoria. The fact is that the mobilization in the Russian Federation is ongoing, volunteers are being recruited, and the armed forces, whether good or bad, are working. I don't know how well. Now, no one can give such estimates. Data on the productivity of tank repair plants and ammunition are irrelevant now. There is an entirely different regime there now. It is difficult to estimate the rate at which weapons are released there.

In any case, the fact that these weapons do not shine very brightly at the front suggests that it all goes somewhere in reserve. And Russia keeps these reserves to disrupt our offensive then launch its counter-offensive. I am telling this for our readers to keep in mind. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and intelligence know all this better than I do and evaluate all this. So, if, in response to our offensive or successes in the Bakhmut direction, intelligence estimates that the reserves of the Russian Federation are not yet on the way, it means that the Russian Federation is up to something. Therefore, we should not throw all our reserves in this direction. It's just a tricky game for now.

Would they keep these reserves for themselves in case of infighting to redistribute power and property? This is out of the question. Civil strife can arise when there is a loss on the front. So, they are preparing this reserve to avoid losing at the front. And just in case a fight breaks out, they are preparing the same PMCs. The Rosgvardiya and the Security Services prepare for internal suppressions (thousands of these forces there), but not the Armed Forces. Although they can be taken if there is an outright defeat at the front, and the bayonets can return to the Kremlin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin's media activity speaks only to the fact that there is only hysteria and not a well-thought-out information strategy. Prigozhin plans how to hold his position and present himself properly to his tsar. All these moves are precisely for this purpose. It's not more serious than that. When the enemy is hysterical, counting on any rational steps from them is impossible.

I will return to the topic of the arrival of Chinese special representative Li Hui. Firstly, he will try to push to bring the parties to the negotiating table. If there is a fundamental strategic turning point, he’ll understand perfectly that Ukraine will not go to any negotiations until it restores its borders. There are also serious comrades in China; they are not playing soldiers. They know all these schedules very well. This is not chess. It is Go, an ancient Chinese strategy game. No one will play it better than them.

By and large, China is playing a game of Go with the US. To evaluate the geopolitical landscape, the war does not end with only the defense of territorial integrity. There will be talk about what will happen to Russia after its defeat. It will be watched how all these events affected the regime's stability. Will the processes of the state’s collapse begin? If it does, what forces will be at play? Who will there be to lean on? Maybe someone can be strengthened, and someone else can be weakened. This whole thing will be interesting to observe that there will be enough room for everyone - for the USA, Great Britain, and China.

Both the US and China are watching the situation closely. If there are serious strategic successes at the initial stages of our offensive, the USA will finally place its bets on Ukraine. I do not rule out that the transfer of aviation and long-range missiles will follow. All those pictures that appear in the media - how far the Storm Shadow reaches, to which cities - this is very telling for the audience of us civilians. All this firepower will be used not for intimidation, but to strike at advancing reserves (if any).

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It will be horrible to thwart the Armed Forces' offensive. This is a very pessimistic scenario. We are not asking for aviation to scare Russia, saying we can reach Moscow or elsewhere. The main thing for us is to prevent the Russian reserves from advancing. To cut off the possibility of strengthening that group located on Ukrainian territory.

Ensuring our offensive by the West depends on how they see Ukrainian victory and the defeat of Russia. And major factor they will be observing is the prospects of a defeated Russia. So what's going to happen? Is it going to fall apart or be given a bit of a break and then get off their knees, meaning we will have to deal with this monster again?

There are a lot of different versions and possible variants of the behavior of the West. We have faced this more than once. They raised Iran and Iraq, and China is back on its feet due to the West. And now they are thinking about what to do with China. The lack of such a strategic vision has always been the West's Achilles heel.

If China started to fit into the strategic landscape, it means that China saw how some changes were taking place.

But I will say one thing. Before that, they sat silently for a year and waited - which of the tigers would win? That's how I understood how they assessed the situation, that some tiger was starting to win, and it was not Russia. Therefore, the Chinese are starting their game to keep Russia from bending completely. For China, Russia is the West's primary irritant. This is the main battering ram of China's anti-Western policy. The Chinese are counting on this - not to ram the West themselves but by using Russia. Let all these sanctions fall on it, and everything else too. And we, the Chinese, will sit aside and wait.

Beijing will try to prevent the collapse of Russia. But they don't let Russia win, either. A victorious Russia is not very good for China either.

We see some strategic perspectives, but ultimately the course of those strategic perspectives is laid out as individual tactical steps. And the situation can turn dramatically at any moment.

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