GUEST BLOG: Ben Morgan – After a year of war in Ukraine, Russia is still losing.


A year ago today, Vladimir Putin launched a three day ‘special military operation’.  Advancing on a wide frontage small, powerful Russian Battalion Tactical Groups (BTG) thrust deep into Ukrainian territory. At the time, the world thought it could see a modern network centric army; the second best in the world unleashed on Ukraine. The Pentagon predicted the fall of Ukraine in three days and the United States offered to evacuate Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  

But Putin and the Pentagon got it wrong, and the Russian Bear fell into a big, very deep hole. By D+2 (the second day of the war) this column reported that “Initial reports indicate slow Russian progress in good tank country.  This may be the first indication of a long war for the Russians. a prediction that has proven correct as the war unmasked the weaknesses of Russia’s military. 

This week has been and will be punctuated by events marking this anniversary, starting with United States President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv, and the announcement of another large aid package to support Ukraine’s war effort.  A gesture, designed to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to supporting Ukraine.  The next day, Putin made a long, rambling state of the nation address reiterating old lies including; “the war was started by NATO”, “Russia is de-Nazifying Ukraine” and culminated in a statement suspending the New START treaty regulating nuclear weapons testing, development and numbers between the United States and Russia.  

Putin’s speech was underwhelming and tired, a series of platitudes for his home audience.  The raging against ‘the West’ and the threatening sounding language are now a part of the Putin playbook; and like so many previous statements the ‘devil in the detail’ tells the real story.  Although, the New START treaty has been on shaky ground for some time it should be noted that Putin’s speech ‘suspended’ Russian participation rather than throwing away the treaty; and that he said Russia would not start testing again, unless the United States did so first.  It was an example of double speak; or making sure to sound threatening and aggressive enough that his ultra-nationalist political supporters are appeased while at the same time not saying anything outrageous enough to undermine his relationship with China. 

Putin will do more and we can be sure that this week there will be punishing attacks on Ukrainian cities and civilian infra-structure.  It is likely that more Russian conscripts will be slaughtered in futile attacks.  However, frontline activity in recent weeks demonstrates that Russian offensive combat power is simply not enough.  The fact is that Russia’s invasion was always a gamble, 190,000 poorly trained, badly led and unmotivated soldiers was simply not enough to conquer Ukraine. 

Putting, this invasion force into perspective 1991’s United States led invasion of Kuwait involved nearly a million coalition soldiers and was preceded by 42 days and nights of aerial attack bombing the Iraqi occupation force to smithereens.  Twelve years later, when another coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq; half a million soldiers crossed the border after surgical airstrikes and missile attacks destroyed Iraqi air defence and military communications networks.   And; Russia’s opening air and missile strikes failed to destroy; Ukraine’s air defence, military communications networks or overwhelm the Ukrainian air force.  

On D+3, Russia had not captured its key objective, Kyiv and it was clear that Russia’s BTGs would soon need resupply.  A resupply that never happened as Russia’s logistics system collapsed under the strain of Ukrainian attacks, poor planning and equipment shortages created by endemic corruption. By the end of the first week of the war it was clear that offensive was collapsing and, in these columns, it was noted on D+4 that “The Russians are over-extended, having relied on the psychological impact of multiple small groups attacking on wide fronts and are now in trouble.  Resistance is tougher than they expected and probably their small battlegroups have over reached their supply lines, are tired and are being defeated in detail”. Analysis that proved to be correct as the offensive collapsed and Russia increasingly resorted to threats including building a massive column of vehicles and equipment to threaten Kyiv; and because Putin was indulging in nuclear sabre-rattling trying scare off NATO as his invasion fell apart. 

Meanwhile, Ukrainian support coalesced around Volodymir Zelenskyy. An amazing multi-faceted person, ex-comedian and actor. A Jewish person that Putin accuses of being a Neo-Nazi, who even after narrowly escaping with his family from a coup de main by Russian paratroopers has the guts to keep fighting.  It would have been easier for him to get on a United States helicopter, guarded by special forces soldiers and flee. Instead, he stood firm and confronted the Russian Bear head on, galvanising his country and the world in opposition to Putin’s illegal war. 

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Zelenskyy’s dogmatic courage became a rallying point for Ukraine, and the world; as slowly but surely the Russian offensive was ground down.  Poorly trained and lacking the logistics support they needed Russian forces were slowly but surely defeated; and then pushed back.  The United Kingdom and United States invested considerable effort in training Ukraine’s army; since the last Russian invasion in 2014.  This training built a modern force that used excellent intelligence to target key Russian assets.  Russian generals were killed in exceptional numbers and modern NATO anti-tank missiles like Javelin and NLAW were used to destroy trucks.  Without trucks, fuel and ammunition supplies dried up and Russian tanks simply stopped; their crews getting out and walking back to Russia.  

The first phase of the war culminated in early April as the vast column of military power thrusting toward Kyiv collapsed and Russian forces withdrew.  Chernihiv and Sumy, besieged towns between Kyiv and Kharkiv were liberated and Russia withdrew from the north-east of Ukraine.  In the south, the towns of Izium and Mariupol were under siege and the Russians were looking west towards Odessa. 

The next phase of the war involved a Russian re-orientation and pivot of their main effort to the east and south.  In the east, Russia’s area of focus was the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. A bloody siege of Severodonetsk followed as the Russians tried to take this city on the east bank of the Siverskyi Donets River.  During the siege the Russians advanced west, north of the river, taking Lyman and Izium.  In May, the Ukrainians withdrew across the Siverskyi Donets River and fought another defensive battle at Lysyschansk.  Russia’s already over-extended military being slowly attrited fighting through two ‘meat grinder’ defensive positions. Lysychansk would be taken eventually but by the time it fell Russia’s momentum was gone.

Then on 14 April, Ukraine achieved a staggering naval victory sinking the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship, the guided missile cruiser Moskva. The ship’s loss impacted significantly on Russia and on Putin, its loss was to big to easily cover up and also meant that Russian naval operations lost their most effective anti-aircraft capability. After Moskva was sunk, the once feared Black Sea Fleet retreated to its base in Sevastopol. The Ukrainian’s rejoiced at the poetic justice implicit in the loss of the ship that had famously been told to ‘fuck itself’ by the defenders of Snake Island. 

In the south, Russia tried to advance north into Zaporizhia and tense battles were fought around the Enerhodar nuclear powerplant. But this was to be Russia’s limit advancing north along the Dnipro River. Instead the focus of operations in the south turned to the coast where the Russians eventually captured Mariupol and advanced across southern Ukraine crossing the Dnipro River, capturing Kherson and almost taking Mykolaiv.  Russian General Rustam Minnekayev stated on 22 April that Russia’s aim was to capture Odessa and link Transnistria to Russia, an indication of Putin’s unstated goals.  

The Ukrainians held Mykolaiv, and by the middle of the year were slowly pushing Russia back towards Kherson. Ukraine, had started to receive long range HIMARs missiles and was using them to deadly effect against Russia’s supply lines.  Accurate and able to hit small targets up-to 80 km away these weapons damaged bridges and destroyed ammunition dumps. Isolating Russian forces west of the Dnipro River. And; in early July Ukraine started to publicly discuss an offensive to retake Kherson. On 9 July, Ukraine’s government told people to evacuate the area to avoid being caught in the offensive operation and for the next two months Ukraine slowly increased pressure on the Russians in Kherson. Through August and September, tension increased Russian forces becoming more and more isolated on the west bank of the Dnipro River. 

Then everything changed, in the north-east near Kharkiv a Ukrainian offensive started on 6 September sweeping east, quickly retaking Izium and Lyman before culminating on a line roughly north/south through Kremina and Svatove.  An advance of approximately 100km. The Kharkiv Offensive was a surprise and Russian forces collapsed, as very mobile Ukrainian forces communicating with Starlink swarmed across north-eastern Ukraine.  Vast numbers of tanks, armoured vehicles and ammunition were captured intact in the area around Izium and Lyman, key Russian supply bases.  

Ukraine’s offensive had profound effects in Russia, the Kremlin had to admit that territory was being lost, that Russia was on the defensive.  On 21 September, Putin ordered a new mobilisation.  300,000 more soldiers to fight in Ukraine, the first of which were hurried to the front to provide cannon fodder to slow down Ukraine’s advance.  In late-September, Putin announced a plan to annex Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia.  A referendum was conducted on whether the oblasts or regions should become part of Russia; and ‘lo and behold’, the vast majority of people wanted to be part of Russia. Therefore on 30 September signed the annexation of these oblasts into law ignoring the fact that battles raged on in all four.  Then on 9 November Russia’s force in Kherson withdrew.  

As winter set in the frontline stabilised and while Russians in the south and north dug in, at a city called Bakhmut a long battle started as a warlord called Yevgeny Prigozhin and his private army; Wagner Group tried desperately to take the town and demonstrate that they could achieve what the army couldn’t, by taking the town and regaining Russia’s offensive momentum.  Throughout the winter the Battle of Bakhmut raged, both on the ground and in social media as Prigozhin fed men into a meat grinder and filled cyberspace with propaganda.  Russia’s campaign had stalled and General Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff was appointed to take over the war and to resurrect Russia’s fortunes.  Gerasimov cleaned house, reorganised his command structures pushed Prigozhin and his forces out and reset Russia’s forces. Ready for a new offensive.  

A new offensive that appears have started but has made little progress to-date.

After a year the key lessons that we can learn from this war are:

  • The importance of collective security. Ukraine, has remained independent because NATO and its allies have joined forces to support it.   This war demonstrates that Alvin Toffler’s hypothesis in the book ‘War and Anti War’ that increasing economic inter-dependence between nations ensures that state versus state warfare with conventional armies will slowly disappear because it is simply no longer ‘good business’ to fight expensive wars that impact global markets is not proven. That in fact large conventional wars may continue to be fought between states. And; the only deterrent to aggression by powerful states is a united international response.
  • The cost of collective security. The cost of collective security must be paid in blood and treasure. Countries that are committed to the international rule of law must invest in training and equipping their militaries to fight.  Further, there may be times when soldiers need to be committed to foreign wars to support collective security. 
  • Precision weapons dominate mass. The Revolution in Military Affairs, that I learnt about 25 years ago has arrived.  Ukraine’s ability to defeat Russia is predicated on its ability to hit precision targets either at short range with guided anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles; and at long range with HIMARs and Neptune anti-ship missiles.  Precision guided artillery shells require less rounds to hit targets increasing lethality and reducing logistics burdens. Russia’s artillery ‘mass’ has been defeated by precision weapons destroying their ammunition dumps and trucks.  
  • Precision weapons require good intelligence.  Histories of this war will highlight Ukraine’s dominance of the intelligence battle. Ukraine has targeted fleeting targets precisely; killing generals at an alarming rate and destroying ammunition dumps.  Ukraine has tracked key Russian assets at land, on the sea and in the air with lethal results.  


  • Russian equipment and training is second rate.  This war demonstrates the weakness of Russia’s military model.  No matter how much second-rate equipment and how many conscript soldiers are available well-trained professionals with modern equipment will defeat them.  War-fighting has swung from ‘mass based’ attritional war to ‘precision based’ war that is best carried out by highly trained professional armies.  The scariest potential outcome of this war, would be NATO and Russian soldiers engaging in combat because the Russians would be destroyed so quickly that it could trigger a nuclear response. 


  • Information war. Ukraine’s military has demonstrated the importance of Multi Domain Operations, especially domination of the information domain.  This war has the greatest transparency in history. Around the world people are watching videos, interactive maps and pundits explaining the war in close to real time.  Controlling the information domain means making sure your story is the narrative that all these media carry and the Kharkiv Offensive, is a good example of Ukrainian success. After, fixing the Russians at Lysychansk and Severodonetsk they drew attention towards Kherson so when the Ukrainian Kharkiv Offensive exploded it surprised observers everywhere.  By dominating the information domain and telling the world ‘their’ story Ukraine was able to achieve deception.  Managing the information war requires new skills that many armies will need to acquire.


Although this war is not over yet, it is clear that Russia does not have the combat power to win on the ground any time in the near future.  According to United Kingdom Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Russia has deployed 97% of its combat power in Ukraine. Recent, intelligence reports show no major concentrations of Russian ground forces consistent with an attack.  The Russians appear to be spread thin and therefore lack the reserves required for a large attack.  At this point, Ukraine may not be moving but certainly holds the initiative and it is likely that the next decisive movement will be a Ukrainian offensive either:

  • North into Luhansk; or 
  • South into the Crimean Land Bridge.

Putin’s forces may be able to survive an initial offensive, they are dug in and concentrated.  However, there will be more offensives. Even if China throws Putin a lifeline, his only hope of capturing his four annexed oblasts is that NATO splits.  Russia has too few trained soldiers, mobilising more soldiers is academic unless they are provided with good training which Russia is demonstrably unable to provide.  Even if the Chinese supply first rate weapons, they are still being put in the hands of poorly trained and inexperienced soldiers.  Greater Chinese intervention may lengthen the war but can’t win it. 

 The story of the Ukraine War is a gambler’s tale and his bluff has been called.  


Ben Morgan is a bored Gen Xer and TDBs military blogger 


  1. I know you will take the usual amount of abuse for posting this article, but I do enjoy reading them. I think Putin’s biggest mistake was just underestimating the people of Ukraine.

  2. The next day, Putin made a long, rambling state of the nation address reiterating old lies including; “the war was started by NATO”, “Russia is de-Nazifying Ukraine” BM

    One of the lies contained in Putin’s speech is that the West is normalising pedophilia.

    “Look what they are doing to their own people. It is all about the destruction of the family, of cultural and national identity, perversion and abuse of children, including pedophilia, all of which are declared normal in their life,….”

    Excerpt from the English language transcript of Vladirmir Putin’s speech delivered to the Federal Assembly of the Russian government.

    What is the purpose of such lies?

    Hitler used the same lie to demonise the Jewish people. Accusations of pedophilia were used to condition the German people to commit atrocities against those of Jewish faith and other enemies of the Nazi state.

    We see the same tactic used by the Far Right Qanon movement who accused the Democratic Party of raping and killing children in the basement of a Pizza restaurant.

    The (insert enemy’s name here) are degenerate pedophiles.

    The purpose of such lies is to bring up feelings of revulsion against the named enemy to incite committing atrocities against them.

    • LOL,and here’s Pat with a track record of demonizing Russia and “Imperialism” nothing to see here, time to move on eh Pat. Hypocrisy much?

      • Every time that the Russian Federation imperialists commit some crime against humanity in Ukraine, ‘Pro war supporters of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine defence is But the West did it in Afghanistan and Iraq and Vietnam etc

        You and other pro war supporters continualy resort to whataboutism. You don’t deny that Putin demonising the West as normalising Pedophilia, is a far right fascist tactic.
        Not being able to deny that Putin said this, or that this a propaganda tactic of fascists, you try and justify it with some more whataboutism.
        According to you its all right because I have been doing it.
        According to you I have been allegedly demonising Russia, (an accusation which I deny) but never mind that, in your mind my alleged demonisation of Russia makes Putin’s use of a fascist slur against the West OK.

        Which kind of suggests; that every undeniable atrocity committed by the Russian Federation, if you couldn’t deny it, you would also try to justify and defend.

        • Maybe actually read Putin’s speech in full for context instead of using your favorite tactic of cherry picking.
          Putin is 100% correct in that the West’s degeneracy is incompatible with Russia’s rich history of family values, culture and national identity.
          Putin’s speech mainly focused on the Family and strengthening the unit with more state support, the reality is over 80% of Russians believe a marriage is between one man/ one Woman whether you or i agree is irrelevant as it is not our culture or Nationalistic belief. This is what Russian’s firmly rejects. Gay rights are protected under Russian law but with certain stipulations, no promotion of the lifestyle to underage children, no indoctrination, and no pride parades. That is not “demonizing” but simply a firm rejection of Western “Values” Personally I’m of the firm belief that that if a referendum was held in NZ protecting family values it would pass, that does not make me homophobic but simply a believer of the family unit. Put it this way, I’m pretty certain you don’t go around saying ” Hi I’m Pat, I’m heterosexual” Russians simply want the same respect. To take one word to suit your agenda is intellectually dishonest and exposes your deep hatred of a culture simply because it doesn’t fit your “Values” I think we both can agree this is a major cause of conflict with the West being the main instigator.

          • Finngrin you blatantly misunderstand Russian law and culture. Homosexuality is illegal in Russia. What’s more Putin could be a paedophile himself. He has taken more than a passing interest in young boys. It is this allegation that Litvinenko made against Putin which got him assassinated.

      • He is not demonising Russia you fool. He is demonising Putin. Is that allowed in the conspiracy driven world you live in finngrinn?

        • The vast difference between yourself and I Gadfly is I continuously try to understand geopolitics and the reasons behind the SMO whereas you are stuck on talking points and attacking the person without foundation.
          I have yet to discover any comment of yours that challenges any statements made with counter facts and opens up debate. In short i find your posts disruptive, misleading and woefully ignorant. I must add for someone with a alleged PHD I am very disappointment at your closed mind which seriously brings into question your qualifications.

          • And your mind is closed Finngrin This is demonstrated by your use of Putin’s language – SMO rather than the invasion that it is.
            The point is I have a much bigger stake in this war than most people here. It is not an academic exercise with me. The situation is real and gut wrenching.
            Finngrin you have no qualifications in this area – therefore you are not qualified to judge a person’s credentials.
            I find your posts ignorant and naive. I mean the refusal to admit that there are neo-Nazis in Russia.

  3. This week Sleepy Joe again emptied the wallet for Zs war. Meanwhile in Palestine Ohio there is a Chernobyl of dioxins. No media coverage, no federal help or visits. It strikes me that against this incompetence Russia can’t lose.

    • Oh yes Russia can lose! Because their incompetence and endemic corruption has nothing on any minor setbacks of any NATO members.

      • Facts kind of contradict you there Gadfly, by the West’s own admission Russia was firing over 60,000 artillery shells per day which is more than the West can produce in one month, so much for
        By Ukraine’s own admission Russia has fired over 3,500 cruise missiles in one year with is more than than American tomahawks missiles fired over 4 decades.

        • …Russia firing over 60,000 artillery shells per day.

          “…Russia has fired over 3,500 cruise missiles in one year with is more than than American tomahawks missiles fired over 4 decades” fingrinn

          And this is something, in your opinion, to be proud of?

          fingrin, the US dropped more bombs on Vietnam during that unjust war than were dropped by all sides in WWII. But they still lost.

  4. Great article again Ben and thanks for all your work over the last year . . now just waiting for the Putin Apologists to climb into you again / hear from the latest muppet who has just ‘discovered’ Scott Ritter . .

  5. You American-lovers who cheer on Zelensky’s plot to get more than a hundred thousand Ukranians killed are disgusting.

    • And you American haters are completely unhinged in saying Putin doesn’t bear a huge amount of responsibility for that. He’s not liberating anyone. Do dead Russians not count MK?

      • I feel similarly bad for dead Russians as dead Ukrainians. The coup regime in Ukraine should not have spent the last seven years shelling civilians in Donbass, until Putin had to nut up and deal with the problem.

        • The coup regime in Ukraine should not have spent the last seven years shelling civilians in Donbass Mohammed Khan

          The trouble with that statement is that they haven’t.

          Or as yet. No evidence has ever been presented to that effect.

          One of your pseudononymous fellow travellers, Francesca made the same claim that Ukraine had been shelling civilians in the Donbas. I challenged her to give some evidence. The best Francesca could provide was a video of bombed building, however in the rubble of the destroyed building could clearly be seen a crumpled Yellow and Blue Ukrainian National flag.. When I asked Francesca to explain this, Francesca claimed that the people of the Donbas had covered the flag with the rubble from the bombed building as a symbol of their hatred for Ukraine.
          How about you Mohammed Khan, I will give you the same challenge I gave to Francesca. See if you can do any better.

          Maybe you can succeed where Francesca failed and actually provide some evidence that the Ukrainians have been shelling civilians in the Donbass for the last Seven years. You know names of places and people, witness testimony, credible video or photographic evidence identifying the locations and times. Surely you can do better than Francesca, I mean you could hardly do worse.
          But let’s see.

          • Simple internet search will reveal the results you are blind too there Pat, mind you intellectual dishonesty is your trade.
            Time to get out of your echo chamber.

            • And you Finngrin are an anti-intellectual totally dependent on confirmation bias. Your lack of critical thinking makes it impossible for you to get a balanced picture. There is no evidence that have read any literature on Russia or Ukraine whatsoever! Books by Mark Galeotti, Catherine Belton, Taras Kuzio, Bob Browder, Anne Applebaum, John Sweeney, Anna Politkovskaya, seem to have blissfully passed you by!

          • The Putinists are a pack of conspiracists with no consciences – a total disregard for human rights and always allege the other side is worse. Bollocks! Shame on you Putin apologists. You would have defended Hitler too!

          • Scott Ritter is as much a pedophile as Julian Assange is a rapist ,,,

            ,,,, and you can bet the house that those spreading state sanctioned character assassination against Assange/Ritter have NEVER spoken out against or condemned the perjury pedophile who was a star wittness for the prosecution in the Kangaroo court stacked against Assange.,,,

            Sick and devious people only care about rape and pedophilia to the extent it can be weaponized against their enemy’s … Unfortunately our dirty media perverts our ‘news’ using such rotten principles to guide their reporting.

            ie ” A recent interview given by a former high-ranking official in Israeli military intelligence has claimed that Epstein’s sexual blackmail enterprise was an Israel intelligence operation run for the purpose of entrapping powerful individuals and politicians in the United States and abroad.” — Silence

            eg ,Harvey Weinstein Hired Israeli Spies to Silence His Victims — Ignored

            And censored in AoNz media ,,, ,,,

            In reality our politicians have our country offering sanctuary and citizenship to those who Persecute Assange.,,


            Down thread I notice Pat o Dea is being either a dishonest or stupid dick to francesca ,,,, is he really disputing the ATO (Anti Terrorist Operation) launched by the Poroshenko coup government in 2014 is a fact?.,,

            ,,, This operation created ‘free fire zones’ over designated areas/towns. It kicked off a 8 year Nato involved civil war.

            6000 dead in the first 10 months ,,,,.

            At the 5mins 50second mark of this video the young mother with the baby ,,, and most of her arm blown off/amputated states ,,, “stop sending to us the troops of your punlishers ( Azov. Aider, Tornado),,, who violate us , kill and abuse civilians….. Our land is not occupied by any terrorists ,,, we simply do not want to be with you”.

            The ATO/civil war was launched against Eastern Ukraine and the local populations there ,,, they were attacked by a usa backed racist ultra Nationalist coup govt who had violently overthrown their elected representatives/govt.

            For NATO to win means death or ethnic cleansing for all ‘our enemies’ in this video ,,, I think peace would be a better option than this John McCain/ Victoria Nuland/Biden type victory.


            Months ago I did some rough calculations that the cost of this war was/is VASTLY under-reported and under-stated…. even though it was obvious ,,,,

            So no surprise about this info ….
            “Ukraine War Expected to Cost Germany 160 Billion Euros by Year-End” – reuters.

            The Ukraine conflict is a lethal love-child spawned at a orgy of neo-cons and necrophilia ,,,, well over $1000 Million PER DAY is siphoned, swindled, gouged, stolen and wasted,, to fund men with no genuine grudges to kill each other …..

            The money flows and gets squandered each day the warfare continues ,,,, more people die each day this runs on.

            Money for bodies ,,,.

            Quite simply this is the brightest, or more accurately the darkest star, in the world wide murderous corruption, propped up with propaganda, that is ruling and ruining humankind.

            One Year Later, Biden Fails to Unite the World Against Russia | SYSTEM UPDATE


            • B Awakesky – ‘That guy’ at the end of year office party no one wants to look in the eye in case he comes over to ‘enlighten’ everyone . .

  6. Oh yeah, whos on the scab for ammo, weapons and money? Whos lost 20% of their country? Whos about to get blown away and back into the Rus Days?

    I think with all of your ‘hot takes’, and Im sure there are plenty more to come. You’ll score a job in the Whitehouse one day, maybe.

  7. Lets start with the basics Ben, no mention of Russia invoking article 51 in the UN? of course not because that would acknowledge Russia’s right under international law to conduct the SMO.
    I’m a bit tired if opinion pieces/MSM treating me like a mushroom and feeding me B/S.
    When did Putin ever say the SMO was a 3 day operation? love it how you take the Wests propaganda and pass it off as fact.

    • Well if he actually “planned anything” it would surprise me. Russia has lost so much in this tragedy. All because of Putin. For Russia it can only get worse, Russia just don’t have the resources to commit to military adventures like this. Seems Putin was trying to frighten Ukraine, like in the Soviets playbook, (Hungary, Czechoslovakia), these days tanks do not work.
      Regarding any Laws or Regulations, within or without the UN, Russia ignores them if it wishes to.
      An example being this very war, Russia invaded a sovereign country (a member of the UN).

    • The UN Charter mentions self defence – it does not give imperialist nations the license to practise irredentism. You do have mush for brains Finngrin – you said it!

  8. Putin is a dead man walking. But like all psychopaths of his ilk, he’d sooner see another 100,000 Russian boys die in Ukraine rather than admit defeat and hand himself over to the Hague International Criminal Court.

    Like Hitler in his bunker, who must have known a year earlier that the war was lost but forced his nation to fight on regardless, then took the cowards way out.

    History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.

  9. The US policy of grinding the Russian military and economy into the ground via a strategic stalemate appears to be both terrible and successful. Terrible in the sense it comes at the expense of the Ukrainians who get just enough weapons but not enough to win, costing them thousands of lives. Successful in the sense that the Russians are suffering a slow bleeding of resources that if it goes on for long enough will end them as a great nation.

    This will rank in the western establishment as the greatest execution of geo-political strategy in the first half of the 21st century, it will likely break Russia, solidify NATO behind the US whilst continuing to slowly isolate and asphyxiate China.

    Very clever, devious and without moral compunction.

  10. It’s astonishing the people in here who seem to relish the death that is happening over there. Joyfully proclaiming how many have been killed as a way of showing how good their side is. Enthusiastically awaiting the carnage of a Summer campaign.

    You are allowed to disagree with the USA foreign policy and still think Putin is a thug. You don’t have to blindly pick a side.

    Then again it’s the internet so who am I kidding.

    • I’m convinced that the Putin supporters are psychopaths and take pleasure in the slaughter. I too have links to Russia and Ukraine – my Russian speaking grandmother was born in Poltava. I am horrified by the slaughter and am disturbed that one of the consequences of Putin’s war is the rejection of Russian culture. It isn’t the fault of Pushkin or Tchaikovsky that Putin is making Russians a hated people!

      • Yes the absolute removal of everything Russian is astonishing and as you say a shame because there is an incredible cultural heritage there.

        God knows where this ends, but at the moment no where good for anyone

  11. Anyone every been in an argument with someone who knows so much better you have to shout or storm out just to get heard?

    Well Russia has just stopped shouting. Intelligent readers of Putin’s speech point out that all Russia’s redlines have been triggered and the civilised West have 60-90 days to abandon their long war on Russia and accept a diplomatic defeat, because Russia is maneuvering for nuclear response. And whether you think they’re winning or losing or whatever, nothing is going to matter after that.
    Nato is dead one way or another, it just has to decide whether it takes the world down with it.

    • In Vietnam a US general infamously told a reporter, “We had to destroy the village to save it” ie commit an act of genocide.

      Sooner or later a militaristic imperial power that can’t get it’s way with a people it is trying to conquer, will resort to actually trying to eliminate that people. The term genocide was first coined in 1944 to describe this form of warfare.

      Paul amplifies this message to the whole world.

      “…….Russia is maneuvering for nuclear response. And whether you think they’re winning or losing or whatever, nothing is going to matter after that.” Paul

      Nuclear weapons are the ultimate form of committing genocide.

      Paul says nothing will matter after that. I disagree. The whole world will be revolted. Not least the Russian people.

    • You don’t know what you are talking about Paul. Putin’s nuclear threats are all bluff. Russia’s poorly maintained and obsolete weapons would not be effective anyway.

      • Gadfly, your ignorance knows no bounds. I guess you missed the part where Putin stated their nuclear forces are 92% modernized.
        Russia’s nuclear doctrine does not allow for first strike, the US on the other hand does.
        A quick read on new Russian weapons will educate yourself, but I’m guessing education is not your strong forte obviously.
        I’m the kind of person that try’s to understand both sides but there is nothing you have said to convince me otherwise just the usual talking points that are factually incorrect. In short IMO you have no credibility despite your dubious claims of “expertise”

        • And you believe everything that Putin says, Finngrin! God you are naive!
          I don’t swot up on weaponry – I am not a war historian. There are others that have more expertise in that area but you are not one of them Finngrin!

        • Fingrin boasts of Putin’s capability to inflict mega death on the people of Ukraine.

          “…Putin stated their nuclear forces are 92% modernized.” fingrinn

          So which nuclear weapons will Putin choose to pick to use on the people of Ukraine? Something from his shiny new 92% modernised nuclear arsenal?
          Or use up some of his 8% cold war stockpile.

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