Russia and Ukraine Enter Next Phase of Long War

Ukraine has survived the initial stages of Russia’s onslaught and is preparing for a tough extended war with its larger neighbor to the East. Russia has survived the initial stages of western economic sanctions and is shifting its economy to a full war status under Kremlin control.

It has been far from easy for either side in the conflict, with Ukraine suffering huge economic devastation and a significant loss in both civilian and military lives. Unlike for Ukraine, Russia’s civilians have been sheltered from most direct violence, but western sanctions are progressively being ramped up against the Russian economy with slow but significant impact.

“There is no coming back to normal,” says Itskhoki, the UCLA economist, noting that a lack of essential parts is causing chaos in the Russian automotive industry and other sectors that rely on Western imports. Last month, the Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot announced that it would have to use spare parts from older airplanes to make upgrades to its fleet.

Russia’s efforts at “import substitution” — that is, finding new sellers in East Asia and elsewhere — have proceeded only haltingly, according to one think tank, Geopolitical Intelligence Services, recalling the assessment of a Moscow-based financial analysis center: “There has been practically no progress in terms of import substitution in recent years.”

A Changing Russia

Putting the entire Russian economy under military control can be seen as a sign of concern, if not desperation. The Russian economy was already corrupt, but the Russian military takes the word “corruption” out for dinner and a movie and gives it a total makeover to boot. Here’s more:

On Second Thought, Not So Shocking Really

More on the new military economic controls over the Russian economy:

Effectively the legislation once enacted will allow the Kremlin to force companies to work for the armed forces, as it will allow them to dictate overtime work in these businesses. It will also the Kremlin to bypass all rules with regard to tendering, enabling the armed forces to purchase weapons and supplies from whoever they want at whatever price they agree.

An explanatory note on the bill seen by Reuters says: “In the context of operations carried out by the armed forces of the Russian Federation outside of Russia, including on the territory of Ukraine, there is a need to repair weapons, military equipment and provide the armed forces with material and technical means.”.


Russia’s military has a lot of work to do once it gets itself out of the Ukraine quagmire

Russian society has a lot of work to do once it gets itself out of the Putin quagmire

While the Russian army has focused mainly on Luhansk, the Ukrainian military has been preparing for the next, longer phase of the war. Receiving a steady supply of new weapons, Ukrainian troops across most of the country have had plenty of time for training and for shaping the battlegrounds across most of Ukraine for the near future.

Russian soldier kills himself on video, firing a heavy machine gun into a fully loaded S-300 antiaircraft missile launcher at close range.

Russian Secretary Patrushev Claims that Russia Will Annex All of Ukraine

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated on July 5 that the Russian military operation in Ukraine will continue until Russia achieves its goals of protecting civilians from “genocide,” “denazifying” and demilitarizing Ukraine, and obliging Ukraine to be permanently neutral between Russia and NATO—almost exactly restating the goals Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his February 24 speech justifying the war.[1] Putin had stated that the operation aimed to protect civilians from humiliation and genocide, demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, and prosecute genocidal perpetrators.[2] Patrushev’s explicit restatement of Putin‘s initial objectives, nearly five months later, strongly indicates that the Kremlin does not consider recent Russian gains in Luhansk Oblast sufficient to accomplish the initial goals of the “special operation,” supporting ISW’s ongoing assessment that the Kremlin has significant territorial aspirations beyond the Donbas. Patrushev’s statement suggests that Russian military leadership will continue to push for advances outside Donetsk and Luhansk blasts and that the Kremlin is preparing for a protracted war with the intention of taking much larger portions of Ukraine.[3]

Patrushev’s statement is noteworthy because of its timing and his position as a close confidante of Putin. Patrushev is very unlikely to stray far from Putin’s position in his public comments given his relationship with Putin and his role in the Kremlin

Institute for the Study of War

Most of the world’s “Russia Experts” did not expect Putin to actually invade Ukraine — and certainly not to try to conquer the entire country. But having been proven wrong, they at once declared that Putin’s forces would take over Kyiv and the rest of the country within days, if not weeks. Now, over 4 months later, these experts are now saying that Russia is on the verge of winning the war, simply because the country has taken over almost all of a region adjacent to Russia that it had already been occupying (in any real sense of the word) ever since 2014.

A careful reading of the article just above reveals the dishonesty of that claim. Putin is unhappy with how his war has gone, and he will not be happy until his troops have unrestricted control up to the Polish border and across Moldova as well. That is what it would look like for Russia to “win the war.”

What Will Russia Look Like After Putin is Gone?

Putin foisted this war on his inner circle, against many of their objections. He tried to keep it a secret for several weeks in Russia until his propaganda team could wrap the whole disaster up in the flag of the great Russian Empire. That was good enough for the loyal fools who go for that kind of thing, but as time drags on and the coffins pile up on the tarmac back in the motherland, the “clever agitprop” will look tired and worn before long. Especially as the effect of international corporate withdrawal and import sanctions have a slowly growing impact on the futures of Russia’s elite as well as on the common citizen.

Most “Russia experts” say that Russia will not change after Putin has shuffled off his mortal coil. They say that another strong man will take his place, and the exact same government policies would continue after Putin died of whatever illness (including lead poisoning) eventually takes him. But things are less stable in Russia than “Russian experts” are ready to acknowledge.

Serious military defeat frequently prompts regime change. If Putin falls, or even if he remains in power but drastically weakened, a second and more moderate Russian revolution could certainly take place. And this could present a golden opportunity to fill the leadership vacuum with something more desirable than just another Putin – assuming, of course, that an acceptable regal candidate could be found within the Byzantine intricacies of the depleted Romanov ranks. A Russian restoration would be a revolution in both senses of the word, at once a circling back and a moving forward. Restoring the monarchy would help satisfy Russia’s enduring desire for strong leadership and clear, authentic national identity, while helping to curb the linked tendencies towards militarism abroad and oppression at home.

After Putin is Gone

Russia Expending 20,000 Artillery Rounds Per Day to Flatten Ukraine To Make Incremental Progress, Inch by Inch

It may take another year of battle before Ukraine is ready to move to take back significant territory from Russia. No one knows what Russia will look like in one year without access to foreign technology and industrial expertise.

Russia’s population is in rapid decline, all the more because of Putin’s poorly considered decision to go to war against a people who should be Russia’s closest friends — if the relationship were handled properly. Russia does not have enough people to manage and defend Russia — without massive outside help. Now Russia is trying to manage ever larger territories populated by peoples who have come to hate everything Russian, thanks to Putin.

Russian economy in accelerating decline

There were 700,000 fewer Russians at the start of this year than at the beginning of 2021, the statistics service reported.

Russia’s difficulties are being intensified by falling migration amid unprecedented international sanctions on its economy. A separate report by the statistics service last week showed 51,000 more people left the country than arrived in the first quarter, the first time that’s happened in at least eight years.

Russian population shrinking on all fronts

Putin likens himself to “Peter the Great” and suggests that he is on a grand crusade to acquire new territories of conquest for the Russian Empire. He added several million people to Russia’s population when he annexed Crimea in 2014. He wants to add several tens of millions of people by annexing Ukraine and Moldova, for starters. In his mind, he sees no problems doing this. In the real world, Russia will have its hands full holding on to its current borders, once the fallout from Putin’s Ukraine boondoggle settle.

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