The United States is upping the ante in its supply of more HIMAR systems to Ukraine with shells that will allow its military to hit targets within Russia.
The Ukrainian authorities have clearly abandoned all intentions to negotiate terms with Russia and are attempting to create an army of one million with which to attack Russian forces in the Donbass and sweep eventually into Crimea.
In the face of mounting escalation by both the Ukrainians and their western allies it appears the time has come for a decision regarding the further conduct of operations in Ukraine and whether the full force of the Russian state against Ukraine is now warranted.
In a recent address Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine and its western allies that Russia had only used a small part of its military assets so far. He remarked also that the West appeared to want to defeat Russia on the battlefield and challenged them to try.
It appears to me that Russia is readying itself for all-out war in Ukraine having abandoned all hope that Ukraine will return its representatives to the negotiating table. The negotiations which took place in the early months of the operation appeared eventually to be bearing fruit. The statement made by the Ukrainian side in Istanbul had very hopeful elements within it that were worthy of pursuit. However, intervention by the USA and UK (in particular by Boris Johnson) caused the negotiations to be frozen and from that time to this no further discussion has taken place.
With the rhetoric on the Ukrainian side being constantly ramped up, with more significant weapons being used, weapons that can hit targets well within Russia and with the apparent complete abandonment of negotiations seeking a settlement the atmosphere is conducive to only one thing… all-out war.
The constant shelling of the civilian population of Donetsk City with the death of at least four children and numerous adults over the last week will have also stiffened the resolution to act in more robust fashion against a foe that appears to offer no hope of any possible avenue leading to a negotiated settlement as was hoped. Russia may well have lost all patience along with hope now and will I suspect now consider the ultimate option in regard to Ukraine.
If Russia declares war on Ukraine on July 15th it will have planned its war strategy very carefully. New ranges of targets not on the target roster before this time will undoubtedly be hit. Nowhere will be safe for the present Ukrainian political or military elites. Infrastructure vital to the performance of the Ukrainian economy and energy production will undoubtedly be hit. It is not impossible to conceive that Nord Stream 1 running through Ukraine will be shut off. This will of course also directly affect Europe, a Europe Russia will also be tacitly declaring war upon through war on Ukraine.
The wider target for Russia will of course include the USA though not of course directly. Targeting U.S. assets within the NATO infrastructure throughout Europe and especially the publicised new deliveries of weaponry would come at a later stage if Ukraine takes its current plans to fruition and the West ramps up to even greater levels its delivery of systems with which to target Russia.
We are on a slippery slope of escalation and response and everyone knows the potential end point.
Russia’s special military operation was initially meant to be fundamentally light touch with the hope that the Kiev authorities would see sense and finally deliver those things it agreed to in the Minsk Accords of 2015. Even before the operation began Putin reportedly gave Zelensky the chance to do this. These initial desires to give peace one last chance came to naught. In addition Zelensky, backed by his western sponsors, appears to have used the negotiations for the same purpose as those previous to him had used the Minsk Accords, simply to buy time.
Russia has been lied to many times in regard to western promises and has accepted too many seemingly friendly gestures at face value which over time become clear and very cynical betrayals.
Gorbachev was given assurances by almost a round dozen of top flight political figures of the West that NATO would not move further to the east if he made no trouble over German reunification.
The Minsk Accords appeared to provide hope for a route to peace and reconciliation regarding the aspiration of the Russian-speaking populations of eastern Ukraine but were used by Kiev instead as a stalling tactic to buy time and build a fighting force to take back the Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk by force.
Now it has become abundantly clear that Ukraine has no intention whatsoever to engage in meaningful talks toward a peaceful settlement. The earlier talks engaged in by Ukraine appear now to be simply one more insincere stalling tactic designed to lull Russia into not taking full advantage of its position at the time while Ukraine readied its forces.
Russia could not be blamed for saying “Enough is enough. Enough lies. Enough betrayals. Enough Deception.”
And subsequently… declare war
Gosh, I hope you are wrong.
On the lighter side ... I like the artwork you use. Can it be copied and spread?