Espreso. Global

What Putin comes up with for anniversary of war?

24 February, 2023 Friday

On February 21, Putin addresses the deputies. On February 22, he holds a rally-concert. He also meets with the "presidents" of Belarus, Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Of course, there is "he will declare war on Ukraine". There is a lot about the "restoration of the USSR" and the absorption of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Or maybe even Belarus. Or maybe - very fantastically - the DPR and LPR will become subjects of the "union state". I've read such things. Some evidence is being gathered for this. Allegedly, then the "joint defense" of the occupied part of the "union state" will begin, the second wave of mobilization in the Russian Federation will begin, and finally the satellite of the Russian Federation in the form of Belarus will enter the war. As well as the powerful Abkhazia and Ossetia.

I don't really understand the logic of the reports about the LDNR, because they have already been declared regions of Russia itself. But any legal dances with other listed entities cannot be ruled out. 

But do you know how we should treat this? In no way. We should not care. Not even about a potential declaration of war. Why?

Let's talk about why Putin is forced to come up with something media and political these days. Why does he need all these dances? Speeches? Rallies? Pompous activities? 

Because it's a year of war. The year of the "special military operation". In which Russia has achieved nothing significant. Nothing significant compared to the resources spent, potential losses, and falling reputation.

Near Kyiv, they lost. Near Chernihiv, they lost. Sumy, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv - they lost. They didn't even reach Odesa. They lost Kherson. Even the Donetsk region was not occupied in a year. The "victories" include a temporary corridor to Crimea, destroyed cities, and tens of thousands of military and civilians killed

Near Kyiv, they lost. Near Chernihiv, they lost. Sumy, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv - they lost. They didn't even reach Odesa. They lost Kherson. Even the Donetsk region was not occupied in a year. The "victories" include a temporary corridor to Crimea, destroyed cities, and tens of thousands of military and civilians killed.

Yes, Russia still has the enthusiasm to fight, the resources and the people, but politically and economically this year has been disastrous for Putin. And so he has to replace the lack of real success with some kind of show and tambourine dancing. Like the way he "united" Zaporizhzhia with Kherson after the Kharkiv humiliation and the announcement of mobilization.

The winter became even more unpleasant. Yes, we spent the entire winter holding the line and fending off missile attacks. But Ukraine: a) did not freeze; b) did not plunge into darkness; c) did not lose anything significant territorially. Instead, it strengthened its air defense, adapted its energy system to Russia's actions, and received a guarantee of many hundreds of units of modern heavy lethal equipment.

Against this backdrop, Putin's legitimacy among the elites and in society is eroding. This has always triggered him, and so he needs to do something.

Putin's legitimacy among the elites and in society is eroding

Putin will try to look like a great geostrategist, a "collector of lands," a "defender of Orthodoxy and the Russian people." He will use situational solutions for domestic consumers to create additional long-term problems for Russia. Reducing the legitimacy of Russian borders and Russian statehood to zero.

Will any movement by Russia give it access to additional human, economic, and technical resources? Not really. It's ridiculous to discuss Abkhazia or Ossetia, because they are already involved in the war as depots with cannon fodder (which is not very much). And Belarus can only be a temporary (and with unclear motivation) substitute for mobilization within the Russian Federation. After all, Russia has already extracted almost all of its equipment from Belarus.

And yes, even if he annexes the Republic of Belarus (de jure in one form or another, although this is unlikely), this does not mean that “the next day” the offensive will begin from there. Because it is not the borders that attack, but the forces and means. And there are currently no forces and means to attack from Belarus or the northern border regions of the Russian Federation.

So what should we do? Don't panic and don't build theories about how the gone creature might behave to make a year of war look less shameful. 

Just don't ignore the air raids these days. And don't ignore them on other days either. One thing you can expect from the Russians is a guaranteed desire to kill as many people as possible. They are stable in this. But they can't do anything fundamentally new anymore. They can only press with numbers. While there is still an opportunity. But we will overcome this too.


About the author. Yuriy Bohdanov, publicist, specialist in strategic communications in business, public administration and politics

Espres does not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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