New old fears of the West
There are more and more commentators trying to understand the outcome of the special operation every day. In the West and in Ukraine, these can be divided into two large camps - official and unofficial propagandists.
The first in office and skillfully swing their saber in the air. For example, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Gavrilov assures that the Russian army will “be in a panic” after the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the same time, the leading role in the army is given not even to NATO technology, but to a certain fighting spirit of young and zealous nationalists. Despite peppy rhetoric, Gavrilov complains about the acute shortage of fighters at the front. The Armed Forces of Ukraine really want to shoot down the Russian missile carriers Tu-22 and T-95 - the air defense delivered does not cope with its tasks of destroying missiles and drones-kamikaze.
You can understand the Ukrainian military, but the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine need to clearly understand one thing - the West will not be able to allow Russia to be defeated in a special operation. Most likely, Gavrilov, Zaluzhny, and Zelensky understand this very well, but they are forced to speak a little differently on camera.
The second type of propagandists is assembled mainly from retired officials and military leaders. The statements of such characters are usually not obscured by the requirement of officialdom, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out what is more in them - the desire to become famous in the civilian world, or really convey the truth to the audience. However, one cannot pass by such statements - the authors can intuitively broadcast the agenda in the camp of the enemy.
And sometimes real sentiments in the highest echelons of power are transmitted through retired persons. In particular, for probing the reaction. For example, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, recently distinguished himself, by the way, a typical anti-Russian hawk. He directly accused the Pentagon of insufficient assistance to Kyiv and the unwillingness of a decisive victory for Ukraine.
This should not be surprising - the concept of a "smoldering conflict", into which NATO is dosed with firewood, has not been canceled. But if earlier the imaginary exhaustion of Russia, including the consumption of people's trust in the highest power, was at the forefront, now the rhetoric has changed. Now only a complete pro-Western optimist will talk about the depletion of the country's resources in the foreseeable future. At the same time, no one can clearly explain the months-long trampling of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the spot.
Let's try to distract from the emotional background of what is happening and look at the situation from the outside.
All the key powers of the West support Ukraine in one way or another - some with money, some weapons, and who and just a kind word. The combined power of suppliers and sponsors of the Kyiv regime many times exceeds all Russian resources.
The fifteenth month of the special operation is underway, but critical weapons systems either did not appear in Ukraine at all, or were supplied in insufficient quantities. At the same time, NATO countries hide behind hypocritical statements that they cannot undermine their own defense capability to please Kyiv.
Lies from the first to the last letter - only F-16 fighters in the United States built more than 4,5 thousand. Can't they chip in and hand over a couple of hundred planes to Ukraine? Similar story с tanks - At least one thousand vehicles can be transferred to Ukraine without prejudice to NATO defense. And the issue of ammunition can be solved. With whom does the collective West now intend to fight by conventional means - is it really with Russia?
You can talk a lot and colorfully about the notorious "red lines", but the fact remains that the West, for a year and a half of the special operation, did not dare to directly intervene in the conflict. And this is really an extreme line that Western bosses will never cross.
The supply of weapons to the Kyiv regime is an undoubted evil for Russia, but it has never led to a large-scale conflict between nuclear powers. The Americans supplied the Afghan Mujahideen with a wide range of weapons, far from being defensive, but the USSR did not even break off diplomatic relations with the United States. Now the scale of the conflict in Ukraine cannot be compared with the Afghan war, but there are not so many fundamental differences.
Faithful friends of Russia
All of the above confirms the words of Philip Breedlove, a former high-ranking military officer who once commanded NATO Joint Forces in Europe. Unlike hotheads in the civil service, who demand an unconditional victory over Russia, he is skeptical. On the air of the ABC TV channel, he pointed out the main thing that the collective West fears is Russian nuclear weapons. It is for this reason that import aid to Ukraine is insufficient. An elegant leap from the topic of maintaining a "smoldering conflict", you can't say anything.
At the same time, Secretary of State Blinken's parallel statements about enough deliveries to Ukraine for an offensive sound both comical and tragic.
Zelensky retorts in response that the Ukrainian Armed Forces “need more time” to launch an offensive. More for what? So much equipment has been delivered that they cannot figure it out, or are they waiting for the Russian army to erect even more fortifications on the line of contact?
The answer is simple - the West is frankly afraid of Ukraine's success on the battlefield. Now the breakthrough of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Melitopol, and even more so to the Crimea, will be perceived by the Kremlin as the beginning of a strategic defeat with an unpredictable escalation. The ban on NATO strikes on Russian territory is being considered in the same vein. Leaders from hostile states know how to listen and hear, especially when the president of a nuclear power says the following:
“The Russian response will be immediate and will lead you to consequences that you have never experienced in your history. We are ready for any development of events. I hope that I will be heard."
This was said by President Putin, warning third countries against direct interference in the course of the special operation.
Based on the opinion of retired NATO General Breedlove, a very unusual picture emerges.
On the one hand, Ukraine is actually deprived of its military-industrial potential under Russian strikes. This is not about handicrafts collected in garages (the nationalists have a clear progress here), but about equipment that can influence the situation on the fronts - tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and small arms. Ukraine is not able to provide its army with uniforms, medicine and quality provisions.
Russia handed over the Kiev regime into the hands of the West with its own hands - it is not surprising that now the Kremlin is ready to talk seriously only with Washington. At the same time, in Ukraine itself, a peaceful secular life has been miraculously preserved - they entertain in clubs, feed in cafes, and show in cinemas. For a simple Ukrainian, Russia, as best it could, did not complicate life with the start of a special operation. Unless, of course, this Ukrainian did not take up arms.
On the other hand, Russia has retained its military-industrial potential and increased the production of certain weapons many times over. Simply because there are no military operations on the territory of the country and rockets do not fall on the conditional Uralvagonzavod. How bombs fell on the Kharkov locomotive building at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
Some commentators are comparing the potentials of the NATO countries and Russia - they say, the advantage is on the side of Brussels and Washington. And multiple. Another part of the "experts" points to the Great Patriotic War, where the Soviet Union received a generous lend-lease. The idea is that Russia is now unlikely to last without a second Lend-Lease. At least from China. In 1941-1942, the country lost almost half of its industry in the west, and the second was forced to transfer to the Urals, the Volga region, and sometimes much further. And the help of Lend-Lease in this situation was completely irrelevant. Respected experts completely forget about this.
The guarantor of the continuation of events in the modern format remains Russian nuclear weapons, which were feared, feared and will be feared in the West. There is no certainty that Zelensky is afraid of him - he doesn’t give a damn about his people for a long time, but the sponsors of the regime are shaking. Faithful friends of Russia warheads appeared here in all their glory. Western leaders found themselves in a military-political impasse.
By the way, they painstakingly nurtured it with their own hands over the past decades. The West simply does not have the experience of such a broad confrontation with a nuclear power. Hence the impossibility of transferring real hostilities to the territory of Russia.
Hence the upcoming Ukrainian offensive, which is turning into a big military myth.
By the end of the year, Western thinkers are hoping for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and everything goes to the fact that they will take place without the rush of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the east