This article discusses how “events” have lengthened in the modern day due to the constant “breaking news” and the readily available information noise. As a result, the world takes longer to acknowledge transformative developments.
The conflict between the resourceful but outdated Russian military dictator and the knowledgeable leader of Ukraine has shown who is more advanced in understanding modern warfare. The insights in this essay may be instructive for future conflicts in the early twenty-first century. Continue reading.
The world is shaken by a ten-day event designed to persuade it.
John Reed, a left-leaning journalist with a Harvard education, had the opportunity to contrast the Mexican and Russian revolutions he reported for US journals. He concluded that the latter was what shocked the globe. His 1919 book Ten Days That Shook the World was correct, as proven by Reds, the movie that was made from it. One year into Reagan’s tenure, the film garnered stars like Jack Nicholson, won three Oscars, and was included in the American Film Institute/CBS list of the top 100 US films of the 20th century in 2002.
Just like now, there were a lot of spectacular occurrences for John Reed to choose from a century ago:
– the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which had an impact comparable to Covid-19,
– World War One, which brought about changes in Imperial Britain while stifling German claims to be a superpower;
– the significant US bank failures that occurred in 1907 prompted the establishment of the Fed and were equally terrifying to the Subprime Crisis.
In his book, John Reed included a love story. In addition to being entertaining, it is regarded as a factual depiction of how able pro-government politicians and army organizers defeated an enormous bureaucratic and military apparatus.
Then, traditional strategists speculated on how the Russian empire may launch a horizontal escalation by deploying fresh soldiers under conventional flags. There was no horizontal escalation.
Foreign interventionist forces were another practical way to restore pro-tsarist leadership to power. Their navies’ massive artillery was regarded as a step forward in strength.
The 30-year-old John Reed, who claimed to have observed the inner workings of the enigmatic black box of decision-making in the far-left government that overthrew it, was describing a “Black Swan” in the jargon of the day.
Imagining a Black Swan for 2022
Russia and Ukraine had similar starting points in 1991. Due to a poorly planned privatization of Soviet companies, as well as inflation and other macroeconomic issues, wild west capitalism grew during the 1990s. But historical precedent swiftly took hold: While Ukraine has had six presidents over different generations, Russia, a federal multiethnic state, allowed power to concentrate in the hands of Putin, a pretender to the throne with a background as a KGB spy.
– the first two, like B.Yeltsin, were born in the 1930s;
– second two, in the 1950s, were comparable to V.Putin,
– The fifth, in the 1960s, comparable to B.Obama, D.Cameron, B.Johnson,
– and Zelenskyy, the present president, in the 1970s, comparable to J. Trudeau, E. Macron, L. Truss, and G. Meloni.
The world wanted to concentrate on the parallels between Russia and Ukraine, particularly the corruption that lingered due to the unfair privatization in the 1990s. Sometimes, commentators would even mention how Russia’s strongman had made the country more orderly.
The strengthening of a civil society in Ukraine, which saw protracted protest standoffs against corruption and power abuse in the winters of 2000–2001, 2004–2005, and 2013–2014, has also drawn attention. The second and third led to fair elections, while the first was repressed. Naturally, voters did not always make the correct decisions, and new governments did not always take the right actions. As a result, the critics continued to emphasize corruption while omitting to mention the success of civil society.
Nobody anticipated Ukraine’s successful defense of its territory at the start of 2022, making it a textbook example of a Black Swan event.
Nine months of pregnancy? The globe has been shaken, but people are only slowly realizing it.
Nine months have passed since the KGB-infested Russian leadership launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Both Zelenskyy’s supporters and interested onlookers were persuaded that Russia would prevail in this attack from all four angles,
– attacking Kyiv’s capital and most significant metropolitan area from the north,
– from the northeast, aiming for Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city
– from the east, attempting to take control of the entirety of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where since 2014, the majority of the territory has been seized by separatists backed by Russia in Luhansk and Donetsk.
So that was how it was created.
In the early stages of the war’s development in late February, US president Joe Biden must have relied on the same intelligence that the Russian military and President Vladimir Putin had when he suggested President Zelenskyy flee Kyiv.
Russia experienced nausea during the first trimester. By week twelve of the invasion (May 19), Russia had lost a staggering 28.5 thousand soldiers. Just the first four weeks saw most of the losses. Russia detained high-profile FSB coordinators after its withdrawal from the northern part of Ukraine because they could not foresee the local populace’s intense opposition. Army Gen. Aleksandr Dvornikov, born in 1961, was appointed to lead the whole invasion operation. On April 13, Russia’s battleship Moskva was sunk by Ukraine in celebration of his appointment four days earlier. International observers were forced to shift the conversation away from discussing Russia’s worse-than-expected performance and toward applauding Ukraine because a Ukrainian-made Neptun missile accomplished it.
The Russian army, made up of professionals training at the Ukrainian border for more than six months before the assault, attempted to seize Kyiv. They occupied the equivalent of the Netherlands in northern Ukraine.
By April, prominent analysts mistakenly concluded that it was not an assertive Russia but a weak Ukraine. It was all due to Russia’s inadequate military strategy and lousy intelligence.
Ukraine’s defense strategy and military coordination were impressive. About 20,000 people died, and many more were injured in Russia. The end of March marked the beginning of their withdrawal. By April 8, Ukraine had liberated its north. Russia announced that the first phase of the conflict had been successfully concluded and that, going forward, it would concentrate on eastern and southern Ukraine.
Beginning in the middle of April, the “grinding” tale starts. Additionally, it worries Kremlin-fed opinion leaders. They softly criticize the Russian army in their well-crafted social media posts. Statements like “those Russian generals who remember to parade and march soldiers in columns should learn to fight” and “brigade tactical group commanders should start taking decisions and forget about the vertically oriented combat control system” are joint.
They use phrases like “disperse the forces along the front and in-depth,” “occupy salient areas, such as heights, and prepare false strongholds there,” “fire from the flanks and depths,” and “counterattack with the second echelon if the enemy attempts to take the false stronghold” when quoting from tactic textbooks.
However, the military formations of petty separatists, right-wing mercenaries and pirates, and hurriedly assembled ethnic minority battalions are not the target audience for these textbooks. Even though they are aware of the hypothesis, Russia sends those units for an assault after carpet bombing and shelling since they are powerless to take further action.
The Ukrainian army acts precisely as described in these tactic texts is noteworthy. Even though the tactical troops move backward slowly and seldom, they do it in a way that hurts the opponent and frequently regain the heights with phony fortifications in reserve to force counterattacks.
Pregnancy timeline patterns were also present in the second trimester. Ukraine started to get ready for a counteroffensive as the front stabilized. When he was in charge of the Russian soldiers in Syria, Dvornikov was quite forceful but kept a low profile. Gen. Gennady Zhidko (born in 1965) took his place at the end of June. Russia lost 14.5 thousand military troops in the second trimester, bringing the country’s overall losses to 43 thousand as of the 24th week (August 11).
The third trimester is typically when the invader starts to struggle once more. In September, Ukraine advanced in the south and liberated the northeastern region, driving the enemy out of the Kharkiv Region. On Putin’s 70th birthday, the Crimean bridge explosion signaled the start of October. On October 8, two days later, Gen. Sergey Surovikin took Zhidko’s post (b.1966).
The latter was appointed as the military’s leader and the formerly independent Wagner privateers, consisting of retired and army dropouts and the separatist supported by Russia. Surovikin resumed his terrible missile attacks on infrastructure and civilian targets throughout Ukraine. Russia had lost 53.3 thousand military soldiers as of October 13 (33rd week, mid-third trimester).
It is important to note that Russia has been underreporting casualties and manipulating data by excluding privateer and separatist losses and decreasing the number of military deaths.
By manipulating the oil and gas markets by limiting supply and persuading OPEC to maintain low production, Russia has been betting on applying pressure on the EU to end its support for Ukraine. The voice of the European voters, however, has become considerably louder than that of the prominent Russian influencers, as shown by:
– President Macron of France, the head of the center-right La République En Marche! was re-elected in April, defeating a fervent Putin loyalist.
Italy’s broad coalition disintegrated in June over the issue of sanctions against Russia. In the September snap election, Fratelli d’Italia, the only opposition group vowed to assist Ukraine, won the most votes.
– Germany: As of September, it was reported that a significant portion of Die Linke’s membership opposed the economic penalties imposed on Russia.
Australia, South Korea, Japan, Latvia, Sweden, Czechia, Austria, and most other countries have chosen national and municipal politicians harshly critical of the Russian invasion.
There are noteworthy exceptions, such as Europe’s Hungary and Serbia, where elections for lawmakers supportive of Russia were held in April. The current leader of China, Xi Jinping, who becomes 70 years old next year, is set to be re-elected in October for the third decade of office.
Escalation could be a Black Swan.
During the summer, Russia employed grinding tactics in the east, where a sizable portion of the forces was made up of unaccounted-for rebels and pirates. Although military experts cautioned against Russia’s potential for a horizontal escalation in the summer, it is not a realistic threat. Putin refers to broad mobilization as a partial mobilization, much as he did when referring to the invasion as a “special operation.” Why? Because political feasibility prohibits widespread mobilization. Russian civilians may be employed to maintain law and order in Ukraine’s temporarily controlled territory, but they will desert the moment they are put to work. Because Russia has been intimidating Finland and Japan for years and needs a presence in its far northwest and east, horizontal escalation by the present Russian forces is not practical.
Vertical escalation, or the employment of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, is something that military professionals do discuss. However, just as it would be impossible for Putin to mobilize the entire country at once, the Kremlin cannot raise international ire to the point where it loses favor with its CIS allies, G20 allies, or worse, the permanent seat on the UN Security Council that depends on a chorus of African and Latin American appeasers. Because of his internal narrative that Russia is a just warrior admired in developing countries, especially in many G20 countries, Putin cares about whatever is left of his international standing.
After the last nine months, the world will no longer be the same. Ukraine is a small country with a long history of colonial dominance, repression, and lack of political representation.
Is Russia heading toward becoming a state supporter of terrorism?
Nine months have gone by. Kremlin troubadours have been searching for positive news for a long time. They began arguing in unison that hostilities must continue because freezing the front line’s existing shape would be disadvantageous for Russia, given its sunk costs.
What then awaits Russia if it is unable to escalate the conflict, achieve victory, and still fail to put an end to hostilities? Internal changes within Russia. Additionally, global architecture needs to be reexamined regarding security, the economy, and international development.
Russia’s war of aggression shows that using WMDs to commit aggression is not a practical option. The ability to use nuclear weapons for defense and containment, but not for attack, still exists. From the Vietnam War some fifty years earlier, a similar conclusion was reached.
Russian PsyOps is attempting to enlarge the meaning of “defense” to encompass things like the Crimea Bridge that the Kremlin constructed after capturing the Crimean Peninsula and invading Ukraine in 2014. However, they have no chance of winning this PsyOps conflict, just as they had no chance of capturing Kyiv due to Ukraine’s skill as a warrior.
Tactical nuclear weapons, like chemical and biological ones, cannot be used in a hot fight observed intently worldwide. These tactical weapons will quickly destroy Russia even though they are not WMD and won’t have the same military impact. They are therefore considered with the same notoriety as WMD. Accordingly, neither tactical weapons nor WMDs will allow Russia to escalate vertically.
With no longer having a military option, Russia must engage in negotiations. Its elites must understand that Ukraine has the right to self-determination and sovereignty over its whole territory and that Ukrainians are no less than them. Along with that, they must denounce their militarism and neo-colonialism.
The Russian elites must also realize that they will be held accountable for the crimes and atrocities that Russia has committed. Because there have been many instances where antagonistic nations have had to go through similar processes and embrace their futures, it is not that terrifying or inconceivable to undertake.