From Russia with love?
As the West hopes that a popular revolt will topple Putin, support for Putin is growing. The West risks falling into its own information-propaganda trap. All mistakes for misinterpretation of Putin and Russia will go to the account of Western leaders who manipulate the naive masses.
In the spirit of what we promised, certainly in order to give different perspectives on what is happening in Ukraine and to point to possible solutions in this debate, we will look at things from a Russian perspective, so "with love from Russia!" While that is a paradise for the eyes for some, and a basis for "snarling" for others, a large number of "haters" who have their own opinion on this issue, let's just point out that before deciding to write anything, it would be good for them to read and not are "sticking to headlines", out of context. But, since there is always a but, it is democratic to be different and have opinions. There is no dilemma here. There is also no doubt that without different opinions there is no progress. There is no doubt that the criticism must be sustained, except when it is not, and when it is offensive because that is how they can do it. But we will not deal with that, it is democratic to differ and we will respect that.
We have pointed out on several occasions that if things are seen exclusively through the matrix of the West, Russia is fat on the losing side in Ukraine. However, about three months ago we had a section (go ahead and see it and you will see that there is a lot of weight in it) in which we very accurately predicted an outcome for that period, which even then someone did not like. Two things are important here. First, it does not mean that it will be so now. Secondly, without prejudging that we want to predict the future, we would say that in order to remain completely objective, but also for the sake of broadening the perspectives regarding the issue of interest, it is good in our forum to see things from the Russian perspective as well. After all, regarding the economic collapse, we have made it clear that it will not happen the way the West predicted. Let's be more precise - it can and will happen, but for now the prospects are not like that.
That conclusion came as a result of seeing things not from the logic of demand and consumption, based on the Western model of "doing business", but from the perspective of the Russian way of doing business. We did the same operationally, three months ago, when the Russians, as we said, were "grinding" while Western analyzes said they were on the verge of collapse. One more clarification – this does not mean that both sides have not evolved in approach and that innovation is not crucial. This means that such analyzes are relevant, not that they are taking sides. Let's go in order. We will do the analysis through diplomatic-political, economic, social and operational perspectives. We will take these positions or drivers as the subject of analysis because it is through them that the arguments for the fall of Russia are built, and in this we will use most of the theses that are spread through Russian channels for the debate about the war.
Politically, Putin, despite the collapse of the counter-offensive that is still ongoing and with which Ukraine regains parts of the occupied territory, almost does not register it. He conducted his referendums with great self-confidence, by emphasizing the protection of human rights (to skillfully avoid illegality) and annexed his territories. At the same time, he declared himself a mobilization, which according to them is not aimed at compensating for the collapse of the special military operation, but rather to prepare for the defense of the new/old territories. Since the last speech last week, two things have become clear. Putin confirmed what we said earlier that regardless of the stakes being very high, he will not back down because for him this is "zero-sum": an all or nothing game. Second, he has, paraphrased, articulated several things. Russia will not cede the annexed territories at any price. It is part of Novorussia. Next, we described it last time, now he is calling the authorities in Ukraine to sit down to negotiate (normally, to give them a democratic chance - democratic because he has already underlined that there are several democracies, and his is different from the Western one). It officially announced to the citizens that the West wants to destroy Russia, ie. them, their way of living. According to him, it is the USA, not Russia, that is leading the world to nuclear war. The Anglo-Saxons, not Russia, sabotaged the Nord Stream (while the Germans rightly said that Article 5 was active in that case and were soon faced with the dilemma of having to use it against the US). Russia will never recognize the "LGBT" community.
As the West hopes that a popular revolt will topple Putin, support for Putin is growing. The West risks falling into its own information-propaganda trap. Believing that "isolated" videos being shared are part of current events related to the mobilization, and part of earlier funny videos of drunken Russians going to war, the West can create a false image "of the power it will face in Ukraine." The fact is that some videos indicate a weakness in Russia's equipment. But those same videos do not share how quickly "the Russian authorities are fixing all this and how they are overcoming the challenges". The food given to the soldiers depends on the region. In certain regions, food is scarcer. These are videos that are from "isolated cases and in conditions that are operationally difficult, not regular." The grotto is "receiving solid food and equipment" from the Russian military.
In an economic context, we will not spend much because we exploit it a lot. We will simply say that the partnership with China for Russia is the way out of the Western-set framework of the economy. In that spirit, for example, since Sunday, many have cited the Bank of China, which announced the danger of a sharp drop in the dollar on world stock markets. Another sign that the West is not omnipotent. "The new pipeline has the capacity to make a modest lunch." It is negligibly small compared to the needs and what Russia provides.
From an international legal point of view, however, "the universalization of values by the West will not sway Russia in what is just." The double standards of one mother and the other stepmother will no longer pass for Russia and the rest of the world. The West is only part of the world, it is not dominant. After all, there are a large number of countries that are against the West and on the side of Russia. The right of Russia to defend what is hers cannot be denied by anyone. "Just as the West supported Kosovo, so Russia supports its own brothers." In operational terms, stories are circulating on Russian forums that problems arise but are resolved quickly. The fact is that the Ukrainian forces are putting up a tough resistance, but the defense of Russian territory is a sacred matter and there will be no pardon for it, and the Western supporters will face Russian persistence.
Just for perspective, after Putin has resolved this important issue with the referendums, he will be able to fully devote himself to defense against intruders. Purely in percentage terms, Russia controls over 17% of Ukraine's territory. Stoltenberg pointed out that Russia owns a territory almost the same as Portugal. Just a reminder: Americans also defected to Canada during the Vietnam mobilization. That means nothing for Russia. After all, they are not against the war, but they are simply spoiled and do not want to go to war. But many proudly love. In operational terms, the West has a wrong interpretation of the way Russia wars. Russia can afford to go to war with massiveness. The comments look like this: "If they are really convinced that they are winning, why did the Polish foreign minister say that the West must deliver more equipment and more aid to Ukraine?" Russian heroes are dying, but have you asked yourself how many Ukrainians died in the attempt to take what belongs to the Russian people? Our mobilization is partial. We haven't even started a war. And when we start. We keep it if our livelihood is threatened by pseudo-democrats with double standards. Our military stores are still full. They are not even aware of how much we can do. Unlike the Anglo-Saxons who manipulate the world, we will use nuclear weapons in defense."
Doctrinally, Russia explained several years ago that it will respond nuclear if there is a conventional threat. Putin, who is consistent in his statements as early as 2018, said - "our enemies will go to hell, and we will end up as martyrs, if necessary, to defend our values". All mistakes for misinterpretation of Putin and Russia will go to the account of Western leaders who manipulate the naive masses.
(The author is a university professor, associate professor at Arizona State University, USA)