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WHY IS THERE FEAR OF THE COLLAPSE OF PUTIN'S RUSSIA? (2023 02 19)

Political strategic level
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the UK will become the first country to provide Ukraine with long-range weapons. "Every day that passes, Russian forces cause more pain and suffering. The only way for Ukraine to change this is to win. So we need a military strategy that gives Ukraine a decisive advantage on the battlefield to win the war, and a political strategy to win the peace," Sunak stressed. Ukraine needs more artillery, armoured vehicles and air defence systems to win the war, the Prime Minister said.
Rishi Sunak says Putin thinks the West will become exhausted and tired. "Even now he is betting that we will lose patience. But we proved him wrong then and we will prove him wrong now. Together, we will deliver in the next few months as many weapons as we have delivered in the whole of 2022," Sunak said.
Britain stands ready to help any country provide Ukraine with aircraft that it could use now. "We also need to train Ukrainian pilots to use state-of-the-art jets. This is what Britain is doing to ensure that Ukraine has the capability to defend its security in the long term", Sunak stressed.
A tough and fair position. Stopping the Drisky meat with frontline weapons is the only way to stop the Kremlin hordes. Long-range weapons are what is most needed today. The strikes must not only target Russian military bases in the occupied territories, but also the interior of Russia, perhaps strategic sites in the Moscow region. Only symmetrical strikes will make Putin's gang pack their bags and look for a solution at the negotiating table.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, called on the partners to provide Ukraine with all the weapons it needs to defeat Russia.
"Putin is not planning for peace, he is planning for a new war and new attacks. And there is no sign that he has changed his ambitions. Some worry that our support for Ukraine could provoke escalation. Let me be clear: there are no risk-free options. But the biggest risk is a Putin victory", Stoltenberg said.
The NATO Secretary General stressed that a Putin victory in the war against Ukraine would send a message to him and to the leaders of other authoritarian regimes that they can supposedly get what they want by using force.
"Supporting Ukraine is therefore not only morally right but also in our security interests... There is no going back. The Kremlin wants another Europe. One where Russia controls its neighbours... So the war in Ukraine shows that security is not regional, but global", Stoltenberg stressed.
NATO leaders have finally realised that global security cannot be drawn with red lines. There is a deep realisation that an undefeated Russia will not stop in Ukraine, Moldova or Eastern Europe. The risks have been mentioned, but there is no other way. Well done.
Commenting on the likely outcome of the war, Czech President Petr Pavel made more than one colleague smile. Petr Pavel warned the West that Russia must not collapse because of a Ukrainian victory.
According to a European Pravda correspondent, Petr Pavel disagreed with a statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, to the effect that there was no alternative to the return of Crimea and international punishment of Russia. In response, the Czech President stated that the West should refrain from supporting one or the other scenario. "We should be careful not to push Ukraine towards a certain outcome. Perhaps at some point Ukraine will change its vision", he added.
He also expressed concern that drastic scenarios for Russia would lead to its disintegration.
"This could lead to the collapse of Russia... If Russia collapses, we may have more problems, we will have no one to negotiate with on disarmament", the Czech President stressed.
Let us not rush to condemn and judge. A similar position, although shocking, is increasingly making its way into the public sphere. It shows that some politicians are thinking about other, more compromising options to end the war. If Russia cannot be defeated now, is it worth destroying Ukraine for a supposed victory that is impossible today? Fear is also justified, fearing what would happen if nuclear Russia were to disintegrate into a multitude of nuclear principalities, some of which would be led by the likes of Kadyrov. And also from whom compensation could then be sought for the damage caused by the war. Perhaps this view is unacceptable to many people today, it is wrong, but it exists and it is somewhat rational. A temporary compromise, with a plan for the liberation of Crimea and other occupied territories, well prepared and with time to spare, is one possible solution.
It will be recalled that Vytautas the Great wrote down Samogitians to the Crusaders when he did not have the strength to defend them, but only in order to be able to take back Samogitia afterwards.
On the other hand, the publicising of the "Russian invincibility" option shows that Kyiv and the West are not contemplating any other moves behind closed doors, but see the only way forward as victory and support from Western arms. We see the Czech President's statement as an attempt to sow different thoughts in the minds of Kyiv and the Western leaders, but it is a pity that it is being done in public. It is also clear that the West does not have a clear plan to end the war.
US President Joe Biden will address Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visits Poland next week. This was stated by John Kirby, Chairman of the US Security Council. "In the President's speech, you will hear messages that will certainly resonate with the American people, that will certainly resonate with our allies and partners, that will certainly resonate with the people of Poland, who have done and continue to do so much. And I - I suspect that you - you will hear him address Mr Putin as well as the Russian people," Kirby said.
Let's be sarcastic. Putin likes and enjoys such appeals. They do not humiliate or intimidate him. They exaggerate him. Long-range weapons, tanks, fighter jets are a far better appeal.
It is said that Mr Biden will bring a 'gift' to Poland for Ukraine, announcing a new military aid package. Given the context, this is likely to be one of the largest packages. Although neither Kyiv nor Washington has confirmed the information, it seems likely that Mr Zelensky will come to Poland to meet Mr Biden.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has criticised the West for not being prepared for war in Ukraine.
He said the state of the West's armed forces was "not good enough". Wallace also said that the state of the armed forces, their stocks and their ability to deploy weapons systems were "unsatisfactory" across the NATO alliance.
Wallace's comments came after European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen told world leaders that the EU would accelerate and expand munitions production.
"We could think, for example, about interim procurement arrangements that would allow the defence industry to invest now in production lines to make them work faster and increase the quantity they can deliver," she told the Munich Security Conference.
Ursula von der Leyen mentioned Ukraine's desperate need for standardised ammunition and 155 mm artillery shells.
"We must absolutely double our support and we must continue with the really massive support that is necessary for Putin's imperialist plans to fail completely - that is one of the objectives - and for Ukraine to win", Ursula von der Leyen told CNN at the Munich Security Conference.
The European Commission President suggested the use of production methods similar to those used during the Kovid-19 pandemic, when governments worked with pharmaceutical companies to increase supplies.
Who would have thought that the Head of the Euopean Commission would be planning and talking about the production of 155 mm artillery shells. The EU is confronted with a new reality - the reality of war. And the proposal to coordinate the production and supply of weapons, based on the experience of the Kovid-19 pandemic, shows that we are being attacked by a terrible and deadly virus - the Mordor Horde pandemic.
Yesterday, Germany publicly stated that it was increasing arms production for itself and for Ukraine.
Yesterday, Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said he was confident that the country's allies would eventually supply fighter jets to help the country repel the Russian invasion. "It will take more time than tanks. We understand that, but the logic itself, the basic feeling of how the situation is developing, will lead us all to a decision on the planes," Dmytro Kuleba said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister asked not to waste time on discussions, but to give priority to the training of pilots, because a positive decision will still be taken.
Incidentally, the UK will soon start training Ukrainian pilots to fly NATO-compliant fighter jets, although the country's Defence Secretary has warned that any move to send British fighter jets to Ukraine is likely to take place within a few years.
Kyiv's other allies, while indicating that they are ready to discuss the possibility, have also warned that a decision to supply warplanes will not be taken quickly.
We dare say that decisions on fighter planes will be taken sooner, given that at the start of the invasion there was not even any question of supplying short- and long-range weapons, artillery systems, tanks and fighter planes. Those who called for this to be done immediately, such as ourselves, were called warmongers and lunatics.
Kamala Harris, Vice-President of the United States, pledged the United States' continued support for Ukraine in Munich.
"Just look at where we were a year ago and where we are today," said Kamala Harris, referring to the weapons the US has provided to Ukraine, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Abrams tanks, high-precision artillery rocket systems and Javelin missiles.
Some sources claim that the US will unexpectedly provide Ukraine with 31 Abrams from its reserve. We cannot confirm this information yet.
Kamala Harris also announced that the US government has formally recognised Russia as having committed crimes against humanity. "And I say to all those who have committed these crimes, and to their leaders who have contributed to these crimes, you will have to answer," said the US Vice-President. This statement comes after the US government announced that members of the Russian armed forces committed war crimes in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have stated that they personally believe that war crimes have been committed, and Mr Biden has even stated that the atrocities committed by Moscow's troops qualify as "genocide".
The West's vacillation between Putin's failure to destroy Russia and the demands for accountability for the crimes committed is interesting. How do the Westerners see this in reality: to compensate for the Ukrainians who have been killed and the cities that have been destroyed, the Russians will have to sell gas more cheaply?
China supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and advocates peaceful negotiations to resolve the Kyiv-Moscow "conflict", Chinese Secretary of State Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference. Beijing is concerned about the "duration and scale of the crisis" and while China is not directly involved in the "conflict", it "does not intend to sit on the sidelines".
Wang Yi stressed that Beijing is trying to take steps to facilitate peace talks between the parties "to achieve peace". He recalled that since the second day of the war, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been calling on Ukraine and Russia to come to the negotiating table to find a political solution to the "conflict".
The Chinese official said that, as the anniversary of the war approaches, China "will announce its position on Ukraine".
"In the document we will reiterate President Xi Jinping's proposal, including that territorial integrity and sovereignty should be respected, the principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, and we will support all efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict," the Chinese official stressed.
He believes that incidents that could lead to a nuclear catastrophe should be avoided and the possible use of chemical and biological weapons should be discouraged.
Beijing's usual bluster and pretense. The Chinese Communist Party's dragon is probably giddy about the US going to war with Russia while China occupies Taiwan. When Russia inevitably loses the war to the US, China eats Russia too.
The wars on our planet will continue as long as some want to have more than others. Fear, vanity, pride, greed are the causes of all the wars and disasters on earth.
Tonight, Israel struck the Syrian capital Damascus and its suburbs. Buildings in the centre of the city, near the presidential residence, were attacked. Civilian infrastructure was also affected. Israel has not commented on the reason for the attack.
A brutal but just attack by Israel against Moscow's allies. This is what Kiev should do. Unexpected strikes on Russian territory. Moscow would understand why.
At the end of January, it emerged that the Ukrainian state budget had earmarked EUR 33 million for the Dom television channel for the programme 'Quiet Evening', which is hosted by Volodymyr Zelensky's former colleague from Kvartal 95, Olena Kravets. Ukrainian journalists are raising questions about the questionable funding of Zelensky's environmental business. For Kyiv, while declaring to fight corruption, it is very important that the very top of the government adheres to the principles of transparency. Because if the cream of the budget is distributed to the 'insiders', corruption takes root at all levels in the state.
Volodymyr Androshchuk, a Ukrainian athlete and multiathlete, will not be able to represent his country at the Olympics because he was killed in the battles near Bakhmut. In 2020, Volodymyr represented Ukraine at the European Athletics U20 Championships, where he finished sixth in the modern pentathlon.
Can Russia have the right to participate in the Olympics when their fellow citizens are killing athletes from another country?
Operational level
Despite fears that Russia may launch a major offensive, there is no indication that something similar to the invasion of 24 February 2022 will happen.
British Defence Secretary Wallace says that Russia's biggest achievement so far has been a series of test attacks along the front line, involving mobilised personnel and very heavy losses.
"There is no evidence to date of a significant, major Russian offensive. What we have seen is advances on the frontlines at the cost of thousands of lives," said Mr Wallace.
The Minister stresses that the Russian army has not shown a willingness to abandon its "meat grinder" tactics and is trying to continue its offensive. Russia's "big" offensive is taking place "in metres, not kilometres", he said.
ording to the BBC, the number of Russian soldiers killed in February has increased fivefold compared to 2022. The number of confirmed casualties began to rise sharply in mid-December.
Yesterday, the Russian occupation forces fired four Kalibr cruise missiles from the Black Sea area into Ukraine".
These actions, that is to say, even non-massive missile attacks, are aimed at destabilising the situation in Ukraine and maintaining permanent tension. As the missile reserve is depleted, the number of such non-massive attacks may increase.
Poland will consider transferring MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine, Polish President Andrzej Duda has said. If Kyiv is given MiG or Su jets, Ukrainian pilots "will be ready to fly them almost immediately.
"In fact, they could fly them home straight away. So there is no doubt that if the MiG-29s are handed over, they can reinforce Ukraine's defence immediately, which is very important. Of course, very few NATO countries have MiGs. We still have a few of them and we will look into the matter", the Polish President stressed.
Tactical level
Over the past day, the Russian occupiers carried out 4 air strikes and 15 missile strikes, most of them targeting civilian infrastructure in Khmelnytsky, Dnipro, Donetsk and Kherson regions. The Russians launched more than 90 attacks with cruise missile systems.
The threat of missile strikes by the Russian Federation remains high throughout Ukraine.
Enemy efforts remain focused on offensive operations on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka axes.
The most intense battles are near Bakhmut.
Attacks and destruction of Wagner mercenaries are reported. The battles are fought in the style of the First World War, attacking Ukrainian fortifications.
The occupiers face logistical problems. Due to the failure of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and the inability to replace defective components quickly, the anti-aircraft missile systems are sent to factories in Russia for repair.
Those mobilised in Crimea complain to the Russian Ministry of Defence about violations of soldiers' rights. They claim that they have not been granted rotations or leave for more than 6 months and that there is no prospect of receiving any in the next 2-3 months. It is alleged that leave can be obtained by paying a bribe of USD 1000 to the officers in charge. The Russian Ministry of Defence does not respond to these appeals.
Moscow does not talk to meat.
The Ukrainian Air Force has struck 6 times against the occupiers' personnel and equipment, as well as anti-aircraft missile system positions.
The air defence forces shot down 2 Kalibr cruise missiles, while rocket and artillery units struck a concentration point of enemy forces.
Photo by Mubariz Aslanov. A Ukrainian soldier near Bakhmut.
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