WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN UKRAINE? MY PREDICTIONS FOR THE DAYS AHEAD.
Mariupol will fall to the combined Donbass militia and Chechen irregular forces within the next five days or so. It is already 70% plus in their hands including all surrounding suburbs. The estimate of the number of Ukrainian regular troops and Nazi-legacy battalion fighters still in Mariupol, apparent within the huge Azovstal iron works are numbered at something less than 7,000, down by around half from when the battle for Mariupol began.
When Mariupol falls the entirety of the Donbass will be free of the Kiev regime’s influence and most importantly of its military forces, regular or irregular. With the Donbass being fully in the hands of the two republics of Donetsk and Lugansk with the solid backup of Russian military forces the next stage of the Russian operation will begin.
The Donbass will in my opinion speedily apply to join the Russian Federation. This application will accordingly be speedily granted, at which point Russia will, in coordination with the Donbass authorities, install a defensive shield in the Donbass and station a requisite number of Russian troops in bases there.
As the above is delivered an ultimatum will be made demanding that the junta in Kiev agree to abide by demands either previously acquiesced to by them or agreed at this later date when formal demands are made, and unless these are complied with in full further strikes on Ukrainian targets of importance can be expected.
The demands spoken of initially by Russia to the junta comprise the acknowledged loss by them of both Crimea and the Donbass and further, that a process of demilitarization and denazification will be put in train. These latter to be reported on in detail and supervised closely by Russia with any failure in either respect to be met with a military response.
With the western powers having exhausted all the financial and sanction weapons at their disposal against Russia and only the equivalent of pop-guns left Russia’s threats of extreme reaction to non-compliance of the demilitarization and denazification agreements will force the junta into eventual compliance.
Dates for presidential and general elections will be set. It may be that Zelensky and the Ukrainian regime will submit their resignations precipitating a period of political chaos that may well make new elections difficult and confusing for the electorate. A hot period of electioneering with myriad candidates and potentially lethal consequences for some will likely take place. Ultimately a president and government that cannot but accede to all Russian demands will be in place. This president and government may well be very pro-Russian and the western powers will say it was installed by Russia but this need not be the case.
Viktor Medvedchuk has been the most prominent and most popular opposition leader in Ukraine in recent years. He has shown himself not to be anti-Russian. This is not the same as saying he is pro-Russian. He is for what is best in the interests of the Ukrainian people and without doubt if he were to be elected president of Ukraine a new era in Ukraine-Russian relations would ensue.
I see no reason for Russia to occupy Ukraine as a whole though the taking of the Donbass into the Russian federation is a vital outcome and without this occurring none of the other demands Russia makes will be possible to see acceded to. Once the Donbass is fully secured then all else falls into place.
Russia has no longer any need to fear any reaction by the western powers to any of this or to any military strikes required due to the Kiev regime’s non-compliance to its demands in the interregnum to take place before a new president and government replaces the old in Ukraine. That era is over and Russia is now free to act in its interests and the interests of its neighbours against an ever-aggressive West seeking to interfere in eastern Europe. Russia’s sphere of influence will have been massively strengthened, her reach widened, the respect she is seen in greatly enhanced and all Eurasian and global south players increasingly onboard and with her against the West.
The western powers and NATO will be greatly weakened by the successful conclusion of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine and will turn inward, quite likely with many recriminations flying, to address the disaster that their serial actions over the previous decades have wrought on their own people.