Having been defeated with lightning speed during the first stage of the “special military operation” near Kyiv and stuck in Donbass during the second stage, the Kremlin has shown itself to be unable to adapt its military, political and economic instruments to the new reality.
At a time when the collective West is completing the final military-political and sanctions consolidation for Russia, the Putin regime is using nuclear hysteria as a final method to try to intimidate their enemy. By the concept of their enemy, Moscow means the entire anti-Putin coalition.
The Lend-Lease Act adopted by the US Senate and the accession of other leading economies of the world to the Act is already introducing fifth-generation weapons based on high-tech military technology for Ukraine’s defence. This is steadily taking away from the Kremlin Russia’s already limited reserves of equipment and manpower.
The tear in the management of the Russian army is already noticeable. Regular “visits” of the highest generals of the RF Armed Forces to the combat zone testify to a whole set of “chronic” diseases of the world’s “second army” – incompetence of command, inability to perform tactical tasks, low morale and the poor psychological state of the rank and file, are all greatly reducing the likelihood of success for Russia from its military operations .
The gradual rearmament of Ukraine according to NATO standards and the high motivation of Ukrainian fighters has led to the stalling of the “special military operation” and a shortage of positive news for the Kremlin’s propaganda for domestic consumption. This is perceived by the masses as the inability to achieve the stated goals, and therefore the futility of losses and deterioration of life due to sanctions. This development of events is pushing the military-political leadership to media escalation and the announcement of the possibility of a nuclear strike. The cities of Ukraine were initially considered as objects, and later the countries of the Alliance (Poland, Great Britain, USA). Talk about tactical strikes is gradually moving into the plane of the need to use strategic warheads. The main mouthpieces of the Kremlin have recently been actively promoting the theses about the beginning of the Third World War. In this regard, the words of the head of RT Simonyan on Solovyov’s talk show should be understood as follows: “If we lose in Ukraine, then the Third World War begins.” The “realism” of this particular option, she argues “knowing us, knowing our leader [Putin]”, such an option is “more likely”.
Due to the frequency of discussion by Russian propaganda, the prospect of a nuclear war has become a routine issue. In other words, the pumping of the Russian audience aims to prepare society for a catastrophic decision for the whole world, to argue its “inevitability” and to motivate people to support the military-political leadership. At the same time, the Russian dictatorship is trying to fit the use of strategic nuclear forces under point 4 of the military doctrine, i.e. in case of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons. To this end, it is planned to hold “controlled” referenda in the occupied territories with the subsequent inclusion of pseudo-formations into the Russian Federation. In this case, the offensive of the Ukrainian army to liberate the occupied territories will be interpreted by the Moscow regime as an attack on its territory, which unties its hands for a nuclear strike. Such a mechanism “legalizes” a further offensive deep into Ukraine to expand the “republics” to the administrative borders, as well as the declaration of martial law throughout the country and general mobilization. After that, the Kremlin will no longer hide behind the jargon phrase “special military operation”, but will declare a full-scale war to “defend the Russian world.”
In this case, the issue of Moldova becomes more relevant. Russia’s invasion of this country under the pretext of protecting Transnistria will solve several problems for the Kremlin – it will cut off Ukraine from the sea, it will sell the idea of “victory” over the next “nationalists” to domestic consumers, and also create a profitable springboard for strikes against Western aid convoys to Ukraine.
The resolution of the bloody conflict through diplomacy is becoming less realistic every day. The confrontation has almost irrevocably turned into a “war to the bitter end.” For Moscow, there is nothing to “fix” the gains achieved by resuming negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty. At the same time, the position of Kyiv is becoming more and more irreconcilable, taking into account the scale of the atrocities and war crimes of the Russian occupiers.
In this situation, four priorities are important for the free democratic world. Sanctions pressure should cut off the sources of funding for the Russian military machine, including an energy embargo, as quickly as possible. Military assistance to Ukraine on the principle of Lend-Lease and financial support should continue, and be increased. There also needs to be a stronger commitment by Western countries to deploy their military forces in the event that Russia uses weapons of mass destruction. The draft resolution submitted to the US Congress, which endorses the participation of the US military in the fighting in Ukraine in response to radicalisation, should serve as an example for other countries. Global public institutions should do more within their capabilities. Finally, the UN must adopt a resolution that the use of nuclear weapons by Russia against Ukraine will be regarded as a declaration of war on all mankind.