UKRAINE SHORT COMMENTARY: WHAT’S NEXT FOR UKRAINE?
Despite all the lurid headlines across the western world the more incisive and insightful observers are reporting that the Russian campaign is not the blitzkrieg one being reported, but instead one conducted at a slow and steady pace.
This pace is too slow for some observers and is considered to have put the Russian military at a disadvantage initially and possibly lost many Russian troops their lives. However, the plain intent is to create a relatively benign stranglehold on the country while the violent opposition is eliminated.
Western journalists clearly do not understand this tactic of incrementally shutting down violent opposition without an all-out offensive. They are schooled in the military tactics of the West, primarily those of the USA where an all-out shock and awe campaign followed by a great many attacks taking out public utilities and infrastructure as well as those of the opposing military. This is the ‘Take Them Back to the Stone Age’ approach and could not be further from Russian military thinking.
The object is to fight the violent opposition to a standstill while preserving the civilian population of Ukraine along with its vital infrastructure, minimizing civilian death and injury and maintaining all energy supplies vital for everyday living.
The maintenance of the Ukrainian system of political and community administration is also vital for the Russian plan to work. There is no intent to replace these wholesale as the USA and its allies did in Iraq with disastrous consequences that went on for years and still, to some extent, plague that country.
Next will see a continuation of this somewhat glacial military policy as more centres of violent radicalism and ultra-nationalist oppression of the Ukrainian population exist.
Mariupol will be taken next unless some surprising element denies this to Russia. Odessa, Kiev and Lviv plus other strategic cities in central and western Ukraine will slowly but surely be encircled where necessary as the effort to eliminate the violent militarism of Nazi-legacy thinking in Ukraine is eradicated.
Inexorably the Russian military will reduce the ability of Ukrainian combatants to fight, draining them of supplies, both of military materiel and foodstuffs until they surrender and can be transported to secure locations after surrendering their weapons.
Inexorably also the present Ukrainian hierarchy will accede to the demands made by Russia that the country forever stay neutral and demilitarized. At this stage the country will be essentially at peace with only sporadic incidents of violence occurring as any remaining militia members attempt to instigate sabotage and/or attacks upon Russian military personnel or equipment.
Slowly but surely thereafter Ukraine will drift ever further toward assured peace and stability with only very infrequent acts of violence occurring which are swiftly dealt with.
Within a three to six month period it appears virtually certain, unless the West manages to disrupt the process, that Ukraine will begin to re-emerge as a normal state once again with an economy picking up and much investment flowing in from Russia, China and their allies.
Further forward I envisage a time when Ukraine becomes more stable and prosperous than at any time in its past in terms of both more recent times or in its entire history as a nation. And of course, at peace with its neighbours seeking only trade, inward investment and good relations, never again to be focused upon war, hatred or discord, a normal European nation, and a much-needed buffer zone between east and west.