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An essay on developments 3

The Russians vacated territory around Izium, which is celebrated in the west as the beginning of the end for the Russian 'Special Military Operation', and by extension Russia itself. Outspoken 'hawks' in the Russian camp, like Igor Girkin, concur. Creating odd bedfellows, where the NATO-cheerleaders already parroted Girkin and Russians like him approvingly, such as on the 'Turcopolier' website, but also commentators on the television and in newspapers. Kadyrov, the Chechen leader who recently hinted that he would step down, openly criticises the leading military in Moscow for their 'pussy footing', suggesting that now is the moment to push for Odessa, and teach NATO who is boss. 

 

The jury is still out on whether the Russians were forced into a panicked retreat, or that they already planned this move in advance. There is no way of knowing, because propaganda and information-warfare, as well as deliberate disinformation to obscure intentions, is used extensively by both sides at this stage. Speculation will not bring us closer to the truth. If it was an 'orderly retreat', as the Russians said it was, it was not improvised. And if it was not improvised, it could have been a move similar to the earlier withdrawal from the area around Kiev, to shore up operations elsewhere, after it became clear that 'Kiev' was not allowed to talk to 'Moscow', under orders of NATO/Bojo, and Russia would have to destroy the defensive positions in the Donbas in order to create an independent Donbas, divorced from 'Kiev'. 

 

At this stage the Russians are saying they need those troops to defend the flanks of the still advancing Russian troops in the Donbas itself, and Kharkov is not in the Donbas. I'm no general, and not privy to the tactical plans of the warring parties, but it does make sense within the framework of what the Russians told us about what they intended to do. As the area you occupy becomes larger, you will have to send more troops to defend it, or be 'rational' about it, and leave the territory you have no use for. Which doesn't comply with the general idea of the most outspoken 'hawks', which want Russia to conquer all of Ukraine and rebuild the 'Soviet Empire', confronting NATO. And as I explained previously, this coincides with what NATO expected Russia to do, which would allow them to bleed Russia dry, using Al Qaeda-like 'Stay Behind' military to make life miserable for the Russians, while pressuring 'Moscow' economically with sanctions aimed at hurting the Russian people. 

 

Another possibility is, IMHO, that by withdrawing from Izium they lured the Ukrainian forces away from Kharkov, and their supply base, not only enabling artillery and precision strikes to hit the advancing forces and supply routes, demilitarising Ukraine as they intended to do, but 'take' Kharkov while the troops were chasing the rabbit. It is merely a suggestion for which I have no proof at all, nor a 'plan' to present to you, since I'm not a general, not even an 'armchair' version, and not familiar with the whereabouts of troops which would carry such a daring gambit. It just hit me as a possibility when I read about the power stations feeding Kharkov being hit. Sold to us as retaliation for lost territory, but as far as I'm aware, the Russians do not do retaliation. They plan things in advance, and do not waste precious ammunition on satisfying their anger. In addition Kadyrov hinted that 'his people' were already in the 'area'. But let's wait and see. 

 

Allow me to recap the intentions of the warring countries and organisations. Before the 'Special Military Operation' took off, on February 24, Ukraine advertised their intention to take back the area occupied by the DPR and LPR, and Crimea which choose to become part of the Russian Federation in 2014, using military means if the DPR and LPR, as well as Russia didn't capitulate real soon. The shooting started already ahead of the February 24 date, as logged by the OCSE. Russia, on the other side of the fence, insisted that they wanted the west to adhere to the 'Minsk-accords', and engage in talks about a lasting settlement of the conflict between an expanding NATO, and Russia. While NATO sought an opening to bleed Russia dry, and remove Putin from power, before tackling the Chinese, using Ukraine as bait. 

 

As illustrated above, within Russia not everyone is on the same page. But clearly that is also the case for Ukraine, and most certainly also within NATO. All these parties engaged in this war are busy with finding solutions on how to conduct the war so as to come out victorious, while at the same time they need to deal with 'dissent' within their own ranks. 'Dissent' in this case is not pointing towards your proverbial 'traitors', but to a wide range of 'demands' made by citizens within those warring countries which are not compatible with the goals set by the leadership. 'Managing Consent' used to be done through propaganda, while blocking information provided by the 'opposing' side through open censorship. That is no longer possible, with the internet. In the west the 'solution' is ignoring the citizens, and creating pockets of 'experts' who drone out dissent. 

 

Chaos in politics is not just taken for granted, but even encouraged, since the politicians themselves are utterly powerless anyway, while the people who pay the 'experts' are calling the shots. An increasing number of 'experts' are mind boggling 'Stupid', and openly so. They have clearly been 'bought and paid for', and don't care whether the people believe them or not. They will tell the people what they themselves were told is 'true', without checking anything, and make a 'one-eighty' tomorrow if needed, without blinking an eye. Not being an 'expert' myself, but an 'observer', who is keen to know where we are going, and how much time we've been left, I refuse to be 'shocked' by gains or losses on the battlefield, when I have no way of knowing how such a development fits the larger picture. 

 

Yesterday I was watching the Formula One race at Monza. A flurry of 'experts' are always predicting the outcome before the start of the race. You can't. Not even when you are a racing-driver yourself. Some drivers are unlikely to win, because they lack the skills, and/or the cars they are driving suck, and/or the team offering material and tactical support lack the quality required. A driver may start from 'pole', stay ahead after the lights go out, and create a gap between him and the number two, but finish second, third, or not at all. His mistake. Or the car gave up on him. Or the team made mistakes. Or just bad luck. War is not decided by a single match, and neither is Formula One. Moreover, a team may win the competition, without producing a 'World Champion', and the 'World Champion' may not be a member of the winning team. While snap decisions are made by the drivers all the time, the team can't afford it. And snap decisions taxing the team often have disastrous results.

 

I'm not a driver, and not part of a team, nor the owner of stock so as to consider myself an 'owner', and I'm not your typical 'Nationalist' cheering for 'Holland' to win either. Moreover, Max Verstappen, currently ahead and with this car in a class of his own, was born in Belgium, and lives in Monaco, driving for 'Red Bull' which is 'licensed' in Austria, and based in the UK. So please forgive me if I'm not exactly serving your preferences with my comments, but I'm taking the 'helicopter' view, trying to figure out the strategy of the teams and drivers in 'real time', angling for information behind the headlines to understand the intentions and broader strategy. And how that is going to affect me, and the people I care for most.

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