Ukraine is about twice as large as Texas. It is close to the size of Afghanistan, still referred to in Russia as “the graveyard of Russian boys.” Known as the breadbasket of Europe for its rich farmland, it is populated with clever people who know how to make weapons, and who have been learning to fight against Russians for the past eight years. Ukraine is the country of the original Rus and of the original Eastern Orthodox Church. By destroying Ukraine, Putin is destroying the mother of Russia.
With an area of 603,628 sq. km (which also includes the area covered by the Crimean Peninsula), Ukraine is the 2nd largest country by area in Europe and the 46th largest country in the world. With a population over 42 million people, Ukraine is the 7th/8th most populous county in Europe and the 32nd most populous country in the world.WorldAtlas.com
In 1994, US President Bill Clinton promised Ukraine that NATO would defend the country, if only Ukraine would surrender its nuclear weapons to Russia. Of course, that promise was not Clinton’s to make, but politicians do tend to make their promises anyway. NATO can only bluster against Putin’s brutal attack, but weapons will mysteriously find their way crossing into Ukraine anyway, just as weapons found their way into Afghanistan when the Russians occupied the country.
Peter Zeihan’s View:
In the video above, Peter Zeihan lays out the probable Russian battle plan to quickly topple Ukraine’s government. According to Zeihan, Putin’s goal is to replace the legitimate government of Ukraine using invasion and occupation. Putin may have underestimated the forces of long-term resistance that remain in Ukraine, now that large numbers of Russian-speaking Ukrainians have relocated to Russia.
George Friedman expects the Russian invasion to be more of an “invasion-lite,” or a demo invasion. If a display of “shock and awe” can cause the government of Ukraine to collapse with minimal infrastructural and civilian damage, Putin may settle down to administer a more compliant population of neo-serfs in Ukraine.
Both Friedman and Zeihan suggest that Europe (except for Germany) may present more resistance to Putin than he is counting on. The entire gamble is full of unpredictable factors which Putin is far too stupid to comprehend. He has gotten away with his mafia steamroller tactics for over 20 years, so he feels immune to reality. Unless this is just a “shock and awe” demo invasion to scare Ukraine into compliance, Putin’s (and Russia’s) exposure to total disaster will be very high.
A rapid collapse of the Ukrainian government would make Putin believe that he had won. But what happens next? 95% of the people who are still in Ukraine do not want to live under the thumb of a violent, unpredictable, kleptomaniac Russia. How far will the resistance spread? Into Belarus? Into Russia?
Russians will suffer as a result of Putin’s miscalculations. Thoughtful people must ask whether China tricked Putin into exposing himself, so that China could do to Russia what Putin is trying to do to Ukraine.
Russia’s unfortunate reality:
Russian men tend to die very early of many causes, including those related to alcohol consumption. Russian men tend to begin drinking at an early age, and continue drinking to excess until death takes them, usually prematurely. Putin is giving them more reasons to drink with every passing day.