Sunday 27 March 2022

Fog of war - do not believe what you read in the media uncritically


I don't think Russia expected the war in the Ukraine to last so long and go so badly for them, but nobody knows. 

Optimism has crept into my heart about Ukraine over the last week, but I am worried that I am being manipulated.

A week ago on March 18 retired US Colonel Douglas MacGregor told Fox News that 

"The war is really over for the Ukrainians... Are we going to stop trying to use Ukraine or anyone else as a battering ram against Moscow?"

That was how it had seemed at one point. 

Now it seems different, but is it?

I know a man, who knows Moscow well, who told me a week ago that he thinks the war is going to plan for the Russians.

According to him, the USA wanted the war (several Romanians I spoke to wonder about this) 'and not because of Russia but because of China'.

I'd be surprised, but who knows?

The Russians, he says, do not want to take Kiev (that I believe - fighting in a city is horrible). 

He also thinks that if necessary the Russians will flatten Ukraine as they did Chechnya and points out that Chechnya has no ongoing insurrection. 

A reminder that they fought their way through and flattened Grozny.

I don't believe that's possible in Europe. 

Actually it is - but would be very counter-effective for Putin.

The view that Russia is doing what she planned to do is not of the view of the clever military analysts like Sir Laurence Freedman, whose thoughts the head of MI6 (C) thinks 'fascinating'.

Vladimir Putin certainly wants to eliminate the Azov brigade and create a land bridge between Russia and the Crimea and for that they need to take Mariupol, home of the Azov Brigade. It's also a major port.

What is happening there? 

We don't know. Both sides are in the business of propaganda, but I imagine it is a heroic and probably doomed defence of the besieged city by the Azov Brigade and others.

Whatever happens, the Ukraine is doomed, because her population is falling faster than any other country in Europe except Moldova's, because of women not having children and because of emigration. The emigration of millions in the last four weeks will be a fatal blow. 

Zelensky knows this which is why he wants refugees to stay in nearby countries and does not let men under 60 leave. 

But millions are leaving and many (most?) will not return.

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