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Ukraine’s counter-offensives – “Seven months from Kyiv to Kharkiv”

Yet another outstanding dissertation from Perun looking at the big picture. It is long but jam packed with good analysis.


20 comments to Ukraine’s counter-offensives – “Seven months from Kyiv to Kharkiv”

  • Deep Lurker

    My chief thought is that “The West” is not a unified front. There are those who would prefer to just cut Ukraine off. There are those who support Ukraine because they have historically disliked and distrusted Russia and are happy to see Russia get a bloody nose here. And I think there’s a faction, particularly in and around the US government, that’s pro-Ukraine because they’re pro-war. They want to see western weapons used, want to see how well they work, and want them consumed to provide an excuse to buy more new ones.

    The Biden administration, I think, wanted and expected Ukraine to quickly fall, and intended to use that fall for their own political purposes. In particular, I believe they had some incoherent plan to use the fall of Ukraine against their “deplorable” and “ultra-MAGA” domestic enemies somehow. Somehow. When Ukraine didn’t fall, the Biden administration got snookered by the “pro-Ukraine because pro-war” bureaucrats into supporting Ukraine – at least for now.

  • bobby b

    “And I think there’s a faction, particularly in and around the US government, that’s pro-Ukraine because they’re pro-war. They want to see western weapons used, want to see how well they work, and want them consumed to provide an excuse to buy more new ones.”

    There’s also the US grouping that wants it for the attention it draws away from other matters. Could be a lot of overlap in the two groups. But combine the two and it’s no fringe.

  • I really don’t buy any of that analysis, Deep Lurker. None of the US weapons being used are new or untested. And no one is “pro-war” just for giggles. Wanting to see Russia greatly dis-aggrandized is a long term institutional geopolitical objective for two very good and easy to understand reasons: 1. Russia is disrupting the entire transatlantic economic and political order. 2.seeing Russia fail so badly it makes them a geopolitical irrelevance for at least a generation lets USA focus entirely on the much bigger threat that is China.

  • James Strong

    It may be the case that no one is ‘pro-war’ just for giggles, but I firmly believe that there are more than enough people who are pro-war for money.

    Use up weapons and that gives an opportunity to sell more. For money.

    Destroy some buildings and bridges. Build some more. For money.

    The effective rulers of the world, i.e.some elected politicians and the Deep State, don’t care about a few hundred thousand people, military and civilians, getting killed.
    They *really* don’t care.

  • The “Deep State” didn’t start the war in Ukraine, much as Russia Today wants people receptive to alternative narratives to imagine. The Russian government did that due to them acting on long standing & oft stated (in Russian language press only) wishes to restore Russian imperial borders.

    The kinda sorta free western world is just reacting to that.

  • When I see Biden using a crib sheet to write ‘his’ message of condolence for Queen Elizabeth, I find myself thinking that bobby b (September 19, 2022 at 4:15 am) is right to include the mere distraction aspect of the Ukraine war as one factor in the Biden administration’s response. I think they were at first as back-footed by Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine as by the Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan. At first, I think they just hoped, for various internal reasons, that Putin would win quickly so it would be over quickly. When the Ukrainians fought back, the contrast with Boris left the US government looking more dragged than sprinting to aid them. But things have now moved on.

    Perry (Perry de Havilland (London), September 19, 2022 at 5:49 am) notes that a sane US administration would be glad of Russia’s defeat to allow more focus on China. Also today, Biden said ‘yes’ when asked if US servicemen and women would be risked in defence of Taiwan. His ( ? 🙂 ) administration quickly issued a ‘clarifying’ statement that “policy has not changed”. But I think there is real concern there – and not just about Biden’s mental robustness. 🙂 So (to paraphrase bobby b) there could be overlap between the two groups.

    Meanwhile, we can all just enjoy Ukraine’s victory for itself. The sight of Putin coming unstuck raises dangers – he’s not dead or powerless yet – but it also does us all good in more ways than just its specific effect on other current geopolitical dangers.

  • Meanwhile, we can all just enjoy Ukraine’s victory for itself. The sight of Putin coming unstuck raises dangers

    Undeniable. But as the late Brian Micklethwait often remarked, doing nothing just leads to different risks.

  • John

    It’s funny Putin believed that Ukrainians were ‘Russians’ and therefore would be as pessimistic passive about , everything, as Putin’s Russians …

    The Russian army is stuffed and in a just world Putin would be heading for his Nuremberg. But the world is what it is..

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Putin, and his entire regime, must go.

  • Gerryireland

    It is always surprising how much western people hate and fear the motives and interests of the west as a political alliance led by America.

    Russia didn’t invade Ukraine as part of a deep state western plot. They did it because now is their last chance to secure defensible borders before their demographic crash makes that impossible.

    No western interests wanted or want Russia to succeed in their goal of regional power solidification via pushing into Europe. It is in western interests (ie in all of our interests) that they fail in this, hopefully expending as much manpower and treasure as possible in the process.

  • No western interests wanted or want Russia to succeed in their goal of regional power solidification via pushing into Europe. (Gerryireland, September 19, 2022 at 3:25 pm)

    True if you put some adjective like ‘legitimate’ or ‘sensible’ before ‘western interests’. No legitimate sensible western interest wanted to be so dependent on Russian energy that many face a winter when it will be cold inside, not just outside – but many do. No legitimate sensible western interest wanted the US to signal contemptible weakness by fleeing Afghanistan while Afghans who’d aided the west fell from the wings of planes – but they did.

  • Gerryireland

    Great video btw, very good analysis

  • Gerryireland

    Reliance on Russian energy is simply miscalculation and mistaken policy, not a desire to be under Russian influence or for Russian political objectives to succeed.

    The withdrawal from Afghanistan is simply a reality of US withdrawal from the role of world policeman. It is regrettable but understandable in light of the pulling back of globalisation that is taking place.

    Ukraine shows that this doesn’t mean that the US will cease to act upon the world stage, but that it will choose its battles more carefully.

  • bobby b

    “The withdrawal from Afghanistan is simply a reality of US withdrawal from the role of world policeman.”

    I don’t know that we were disavowing the cop role so much as running from a failed effort at it.

  • Gerryireland

    The US and the West will undoubtedly succeed and win in this collapse of globalism, which was of course guaranteed by US power.

    It looks really bad for China, Russia, and the Middle East.

    I honestly don’t think there is anything to worry about.

    In Europe we could have some problems with energy and other raw materials supply. As such we need to commit to the retreated US western order.

    The western backed global order isn’t running but is rather consolidating.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I suspect that the “Biden” admin supports Ukraine* mainly because they have spent the last 6 years demonizing Russia/Putin for supposedly interfering with US elections.
    They cannot easily pivot and say that Putin is not that bad.

    * but also Russia, by inflating energy prices. But “Biden’s” support for Russia is not in the public eye: most Americans (and Canadians) don’t seem to look beneath the surface.

  • Gerryireland

    But Putin is that bad. It is bad to invade sovereign nations and to attack Europe using energy supply. Letting such a person win would be catastrophic for Europe and in the longer term for the US.

    The US administration doesn’t support Putin because he is raising energy prices. That’s insane. Rather they are arming Ukraine and fighting a proxy war in order to exhaust Russia.

  • Snorri Godhi

    The US administration doesn’t support Putin because he is raising energy prices.

    It’s not Putin who is raising energy prices, it’s “Biden”.

  • Paul Marks

    “Russia is disrupting the entire transatlantic political and economic order” – would that this were so, as that order has become an abomination – it is no longer the Free World. However, what Mr Putin is actually doing is waging an unjust (despicably unjust) war against the people of Ukraine – a war that has made the “transatlantic political and economic order” even more powerful (has given them justifications for things they wanted to do anyway – just as Covid and the “Climate Crises” did and does).

    As for destroying Russia – that would benefit the People’s Republic of China (who the fool Putin thinks are his friends – when they have played him like a fiddle) and would doom the West – not only would the natural resources of Russia be gone (gone under the control of the People’s Republic of China Communist Party Dictatorship), but it would also end the very idea of an independent nation.

    The United Kingdom and other Western lands are tied by world governance agreements – charters of “rights” created by international bodies, and various agreements deciding tax rates and regulations.

    This is what is called “functionalism” (a word that is used to mean different things in difference contexts – I am thinking of the “functionalism versus federalism” debate in international relations), world “governance” not by a formal Federation, but by endless bureaucratic agreements that mean that whilst elections still occur, they have less and less meaning.

    What large country stands against all this? Russia does. Mr Putin is a thief and a murderer, as are his cronies – but Russia itself is large enough to stand outside the world ESG (and other) tyranny, and to prove that this can be done. Russia also openly says that its domestic law is superior to any international agreement on taxation or anything else – and it is this (not the brutal and despicable invasion of Ukraine) that truly horrifies the International Community, as it cuts at the heart of the world governance project.

    But with the bloodyhanded Mr Putin and his cronies in power, Russia is not much of an alternative to the “Woke” tyranny that is taking over the modern world. We are in the position of the frying pan (the modern West) and the fire (the bloodyhanded Putin dictatorship).

    Want a world where there is real tax competition between countries? Want a world where young children are not sexually mutilated? Want a world where money is real – not the plaything of governments and banks? Want a world where ministers are not told “you cannot do that; you must do this in policy – because of the international agreement”?

    Russia, not Mr Putin and his associates, Russia, is the only major nation outside the present “Woke” system. It is no good pointing to Liechtenstein or some such place – as soon as they are put under pressure such little countries (with no nuclear weapons) must fold to the Woke “international community” – Rusia does not have to. Threats to cut off raw materials will not work with Russia (which has vast amounts of raw materials), and nuclear blackmail will not work against a nation with many nuclear weapons of its own.

    “But if Donald John Trump is elected again in 2024 the United States will free itself from the evil of the International Community”.

    I certainly hope so – but I remember four years when President Trump had only very limited powers, with a government machine (and general establishment) loyal (if “loyal” is a word that can be used in this evil context) to the evil of the Woke International Community – President Trump might issue X order (say to end Frankfurt School of Marxism “Critical Race Theory” and “Gender Theory” and so on, indoctrination in the United States military), but his orders were rarely obeyed.

    Would it be any different if President Trump returned in January 2025?

    Ditto anyone else elected President – how much power, power against the establishment (the International Community) would any American President have?

    Still let us hope for the best – let us hope that on January 20th, 2025, the newly elected American President denounces the establishment, and tears up all the international “governance” agreements, dismissing every official.

    “Civil Service Acts – this is a National Emergency, the very existence of the United States is at stake, I am asking Congress to repeal the Civil Service Acts and end the bureaucratic machine (the endless agencies and bureaus) that have nothing but contempt and hatred for the liberty and independence of the American people”.

    A pleasing fantasy, even if rather unlikely in practice.

  • Paul Marks

    The “rules-based world order” (beloved of the Economist magazine and others) with its fiat money, Credit Bubble banking, “Woke” doctrines concerning race, sex, and everything else, and endless international agreements making national elections less and less relevant, is not a friend – it is an enemy, a deadly enemy.

    However, Mr Putin is also an enemy – the enemy of our enemy is NOT our friend.

    Looking around the world today, liberty has no powerful friends – that is the brutal truth.