Putin’s Struggle With the Complications of His ‘Special Military Operation’

by | Mar 14, 2023 | , ,

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Putin never declared war on Ukraine because it was a Special Military Operation. Why is that important?

Okay, to explain that, I’m going to cover what I’ve been reading regarding the Russo/Ukrainian War in this piece, but I’m going to go back in time and lay more foundation. Here are my six rules about understanding geopolitics, which blend naturally, and are essential in such a discussion.

My Six Rules of Understanding Geopolitics

  1. All geopolitics is about geographics, demographics, and economics.
  2. Everything is about the basics.
  3. History is everything.
  4. People are like nations and will act in their own best interests unless they don’t.
  5. Nothing is ever as it appears. Look behind the curtain.
  6. Everyone lies.

There’s been all this talk about Putin using nuclear arms in his war with Ukraine. Initially, I thought that was never going to happen. Then as the war turned against Putin, I thought maybe he would use them in a small strategic way. Then, as it got worse, I began to think if Putin rationalized using them in a small way, he might adopt the mentality, “in for a dime in for a dollar,” and go all out. However, even China and India, which are considered allies of a sort, have warned against such an action.

One of the things I wrote about 10 years ago or so was Russia’s very real and primary problem. Demographics!

Russia believes it has seven defensive gaps it must maintain, two of which are around Ukraine. Ten years ago, they only had the manpower to maintain three of them. At that time, it was estimated by 2040; ethnic Russians may well be a minority in their own country, and strange as it sounds, I think Putin loves Russia and wants to save Russia. But there’s the rub.

There’s a reason they call Russia “Mother Russia.” In the United States, you’ve never heard the terms Father America or Mother America because in America, the people are America, and America is the people. In Russia, they don’t have that mentality, and most assuredly, Putin most certainly doesn’t have that mentality now, and Russian rulers never have going back to Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. Russia, as a land and a nation, is what’s sacred, and the people merely have the privilege of occupying that nation, and would be used as they saw fit.

That’s what Putin loves, Russia, not the people of Russia. We find that kind of thinking to be totally alien to us, and that’s why we make so many mistakes in dealing with Russia, and China, for that matter, as their leaders have much the same mentality.

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic.” Joseph Stalin

After the fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the Warsaw pact, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and long before Putin came to power, the Russian leadership knew it needed Ukraine to be part of Russia in some form for a number of reasons, but the number one reason was demographics. Russia’s demographic decline is dramatic, and with so many fleeing Russia to avoid conscription, it’s worse than ever. They’re allegedly planning a new push, which I don’t think will happen, and in order to meet their needs, they’ve been using non-Slavic migrants. But the fact remains their army is demoralized, ill-trained, ill-equipped, and worse yet, led by an incompetent, corrupt military hierarchy.

Napoleon once noted:

In war, three-quarters turns on personal character and relations; the balance of manpower and materials counts only for the remaining quarter.

If that’s true, and considering he fought and won more battles over more diverse terrain than anyone in history, I think we can be assured it is. That can only mean one thing; any future Russian initiatives will be in trouble.

Ukrainians and Russians are of the same Slavic ethnic stock. The Russian leadership, at the collapse of the Soviet Union, attempted to form a “New Soviet Union” out of the 15 former Soviet Republics, but they didn’t desire to have the non-Slavic nations become more powerful in this “New Soviet Union,” so they needed Ukraine. Yeltsin, a typical communist thug, thought they could intimidate all these Republics into agreeing to this new “looser” tyranny, but they needed a Slavic Ukraine to agree to this new tyranny. While President George H.W. Bush tried to persuade Ukraine to accept this new union, they didn’t. All the threats backfired.

“Bush delivered his infamous “Chicken Kiev” speech as a result, hoping to prevent Ukraine from pulling out. “Freedom is not the same as independence,” Bush lectured the Ukrainian parliament. “Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism.” The irony of the speech was sharp: a U.S. president was actively trying to prolong the existence of the country that had been, until recently, the United States’ greatest foe.”

So, with Ukraine refusing to join Yeltsin’s “new and improved” Soviet Union, he realized other republics would do the same, so, what to do? Suddenly, Moscow and Washington were allies; what in the world would cause such a scenario?

Ukraine had a massive stockpile of nuclear arms, the third largest stockpile in the world, with 1,900 nuclear warheads and 2,500 tactical nuclear arms, large uranium deposits. They also had a large technical and production capacity to manufacture such missiles. In fact, every one of the ballistic missiles delivered to Cuba in 1962 was manufactured in Ukraine. There were also nuclear arms in Belarus and Kazakhstan, and in short, and according to Secretary of State Jim Baker, that amounted to: 

“A Yugoslavia-type situation with 30,000 nuclear weapons presents an incredible danger to the American people — and they know it and will hold us accountable if we don’t respond.”

The last thing the U.S. wanted was more nuclear-armed independent nations and no one controlling the switch, so they supported Ukraine, giving up their nuclear arms to Russia, even offering….sort of….some kind of NATO assurances, which the Russians would have never agreed to. We’ll come back to that.

What followed? Negotiations, lots of negotiations!

They argued over denuclearization, Crimea, the Soviet Black Sea fleet, financial compensation, formal recognition of Ukraine’s borders, security guarantees, and eventually, what followed was what has been called the Budapest Memorandum, where if Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons, they would get “assurances” for their territorial integrity. No “guarantees,” just assurances, and the Russians agreed to that!!!

That’s important to remember. Secretary of State Baker agreed not to expand NATO, but that agreement was with the “Soviet Union;” it was an unofficial agreement, and the Soviet Union no longer existed. “Russia” made “assurances” to honor Ukraine’s borders, that agreement was official, and that agreement still exists.

So, after all the bickering and bargaining, why did Ukraine agree to this? They were broke, badly broke. They signed away much to avoid isolation and bankruptcy. While this agreement, now signed by Bill Clinton, seemed like a triumphant moment as an end to the cold war and peace in Europe, the Ukrainian government had no delusions about Russian compliance with any agreement, but this agreement gave them time!!!

Also, Yeltsin made it clear they would never accept Ukraine joining NATO, which shocked Clinton, effectively ending the Partnership for Peace initiative, but efforts to expand NATO went ahead.

That’s important to remember.

As for the Ukraine government, it went its merry corrupt way, and the consequences of only having assurances of their border security and independence have now come to fruition, all of which the Russians understood during those negotiations.

And what exactly did Russia understand? Ukraine belongs to Russia, and nothing must stand in the way. That’s why he didn’t declare war on Ukraine; in his mind and the minds of his myrmidons, Ukraine isn’t an independent nation. It’s just a province of Russia, and one with an attitude problem, that makes it a Russian internal issue not requiring any silly declaration of war, hence, a Special Military Operation. Ukraine disagreed. And now it’s a war.

All this clabber about how Putin had to attack because of NATO expansion, and their need for “much-needed strategic depth” justified this invasion as “an act of premeditated self-defense” is nothing but a load of horsepucky. Not one of the NATO, or non-NATO countries bordering Russia had any intention of attacking Russia and absolutely didn’t have the resources to do so. Putin knew that.

This attack was blatant revanchism, plain and simple, and the foundational foreign policy of Russia for centuries. If Ukraine joined NATO, they couldn’t risk such an attack as that would trigger a military response from NATO members, preventing their planned revanchist aggression. Russia understood the war to be against the West from the beginning, not because the West wanted to attack them but to keep nations from joining NATO, which would prevent Russia from invading them as they saw fit. They were not going to stop until they absorbed all of Ukraine and officially make it a part of Russia. That’s Russia now, just as it was in the past.

So, will Putin resort to nuclear war? As I said, Putin loves Russia but cares little for the Russian people. But he has to know if he resorts to nuclear war, he will have destroyed Ukraine, and he will have failed in his primary objective, which is, gaining the Ukraine population. In the course of this, he has seriously undermined his own demographics, as he’s probably lost up to 200,000 young Russians, people are fleeing Russia to avoid conscription, and that includes the best and brightest, which is being called a “brain drain.” He cannot possibly rebuild Ukraine’s infrastructure and the cities he’s destroyed. He can’t even build his own military equipment, as he’s having to buy them from other nations, including the Taliban, and Iran, and now China has agreed to sell him military hardware. And he’s broke. Even if he wins, he loses, and China will be ascendant on his border, which will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Also, Putin must be convinced the West will retaliate with nuclear weapons. But he lives in a bubble of isolation, hearing only what he wants to hear, and what he wants to hear is what he believes, and anyone who detracts from his “visions” is eliminated. All the upper military ranks in Russia are nothing but Putin’s yes-men, flunkies, and sycophants. So, I’m not convinced Putin believes the West will retaliate.

However, I do believe Putin knows if all these failures continue to mount, he’s personally doomed. If he’s overthrown, it won’t be the kind of overthrow it was with Khrushchev, who didn’t play the monster role Stalin did while in power, which is what I think saved him.

Putin has been a vile murderous KGB thug, and modern Russian history is replete with coups and the violent elimination of political opponents. I’m of the opinion there’s a Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg cabal within the Russian military. If he attempts to go nuclear, I think that may well trigger a coup.

Cover Image: Kremlin – Russian President Vladimir Putin, third from left, visits the National Defense Control Center in Moscow on Dec. 26, 2018. He was overseeing the test of a new Russian hypersonic missile system called Avangard, which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads.

Rich Kozlovich

Rich Kozlovich has been a writing partner with Dr. Jay Lehr, who has now passed, for many years dealing with environmental issues and more. Rich, in order to honor our friend, Jay Lehr, is pleased to be able to continue writing for America Out Loud as a regular contributor.

Rich is a forty-year veteran of the structural pest control industry, having served for over 25 years on many industry association boards dealing with the regulations and legislation that impact those who manufacture, distribute and apply pesticides and fertilizers. He’s now the publisher of Paradigms and Demographics, which he calls a not-for-profit passion. His blog motto is, "Everything is to be Questioned."

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Only Human
Only Human
15 days ago

WOW!

This is quite a piece …. a three year old, with the same factual information available to him, would do a much better job.

Full of propaganda indoctrinated into the writer by THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN …..it disqualifies on its own merits.

I hope the writer knows better about PEST CONTROL …

Rodolfo
Rodolfo
15 days ago

The 2014 overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine by then president Obama on behalf of Talmudist Victoria Nuland set the stage for the SMO. For 8 years the Puppet government of Ukraine shelled and killed between 8k and 12k Ukrainian people in the Donbas. These identify more as Russian and were persecuted by Kiev. Putin acted to protect his borders and the Donbas with its inhabitants. Putin is no angel, but the thug in this story is the US state Department.

Douglas Jack
Douglas Jack
14 days ago

Note Rudolfo below on UN ratified Minsk Accords guaranteed by Russia due to the Maidan putsch installed western Oligarch puppet Ukraine government’s massacre of 15,000 Donbass citizens by 2015. Victoria Nuland boasts 5 billion $ part of a total of 15 billion $, violence investment to overthrow the democratically elected Viktor Yanukovych government with only months before the scheduled election. Western oligarchs didn’t think their puppets could win in an honest election. Note ‘Only-Human’ assessment below on the lack of evidence presented by Kozlovich. The author Rich Kozlovich provides no evidence or even references for his character projections upon 140,000,000 diverse Russians. I’ve lived among Russian communities of 50,000 people for over 50 years & none of Rich’s generalities & prejudice reflects the friends & families, who I know intimately. Rich’s projections, mirror American atrocities on innocent peoples, commanded by its oligarchs killing worldwide in 100s of sick murderous & genocidal interventions, mostly in Muslim nations. US has been used by its oligarch owners, worldwide as a bulldog. Is there a connection between oligarch ‘s’elected Petro Porochenko & Volodymyr Zelenskyy as concurrent presidents of Ukraine & oligarchy’s recently colonized Israel ally at the only land-bridge juncture of the Eurasian & African mega-continents? America Out-Loud, will do well to have propagandists like Kozlovich formally ‘debate’ (French ‘de’ = ‘undo’ + ‘bate’ = ‘the-fight’) both-sided, equal-time, recorded & published dialogue, with the Russian people & responsible leaders he is accusing of inhumanity. Here is a traditional ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) Council Process format, easy to use. ‘Media’ (L. ‘medium’ = ‘middle’) is supposed to honorably present all sides, preferably in reciprocal dialogue, so the reader may contrast & compare so as to judge for her or his self as to the validity of facts, figures, feelings & logics presented. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/both-sides-now-equal-time-recorded-dialogues

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