SDG16

Russian losses in Ukraina “special military operation”

Updated November 26. 2023

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Medvedev: “It’s a battle for our very existence. A fight for survival. It’s either us or them.”

by Velina Chakarova @vtchakarova Geopolitical Strategist

Russia’s war on Ukraine. For 18 months now, Western analysts and policymakers have been trying to understand and predict Russia’s actions in its ongoing war on Ukraine. A common mistake made by them is to view the war through the lens of Western values and objectives, which leads to misinterpretations of Russia’s strategy and goals. To truly understand the Russian calculus, one must consider the viewpoints and sentiments expressed by the highest echelons of Russian leadership. A clear window into this calculus is provided by the recent post by Dmitry Medvedev on Telegram, a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

In the first part, Medvedev said, “A defeat of the West in Ukraine is inevitable. While their leaders, who have overlooked the needs of their own citizens, loudly proclaim their commitment to supporting the remnants of Ukraine with arms and funds for as long as required. They’ll prepare soldiers for the meat grinder in Kyiv and strive to reconstruct the crumbling economy of the Banderite system. They will persist with their excessive sanctions against Russia. But it will be in vain. Why?”

In this part, Medvedev implies Russia’s resolve to go all the way in a protracted war of attrition. As a test of resilience, Russia signals that it is ready for a war of attrition and indicates that they’re prepared for a long-term confrontation, not just in terms of military engagement but also in the economic, political, and informational arenas. This signals a belief in their own resilience and a test of Western endurance. It is about psychological warfare, too. By communicating unyielding resolve, Russia aims to demoralize the Ukrainian side and the West, potentially leading them to make concessions or seek a premature settlement.
Medvedev continues:

For the West, it’s a distant war where unfamiliar lives are lost. While they might not mourn these losses, the West will never cross the line where it jeopardizes its own interests, regardless of their rhetoric at summits and the UN. A war fought on foreign soil eventually becomes tiresome, expensive, and inconsequential. But for us, it’s a heart-wrenching conflict involving our kin. It’s a battle for our very existence. A fight for survival. It’s either us or them.

Dmitry Medvedev

This statement confirms that Putin’s decision to launch a war on Ukraine has turned it into an existential war for Russia, which raises the stakes. The West must employ strategic thinking in its military aid planning for Ukraine. The goal should be to enable Kyiv not only to withstand Russian assaults but also to inflict substantial military damage on Russia, potentially triggering political, economic, and military tipping points. Medvedev further continues: “As time progresses, the Western leadership will shift, their elites will become weary, and will seek negotiations and a cessation of the conflict. Their counter-offensives will lose momentum. They will mourn the deceased and heal their injuries. However, we cannot relent until the existing Ukrainian state, which is inherently terrorist, is fully taken apart. It needs to be razed to the ground, leaving no trace behind. It should be ensured that this entity can never resurface under any conditions. If it requires years or even decades, that’s the necessary time. We’re faced with an unavoidable decision: either we eliminate their adversarial political system, or the united West will, in time, aim to overpower Russia. In such a scenario, they will also face dire consequences. Nobody wishes for that outcome.” The West must recognize that Russia’s primary objective remains the complete political and economic domination of Ukraine. Moscow is also playing a waiting game, banking on the periodic political shifts within democracies. It anticipates that the often uninformed Western electorate might vote out their current governments in favor of more Russia-friendly administrations. Such shifts could pressure Ukraine into accepting a frozen conflict or entering peace negotiations that involve territorial concessions. Finally, Medvedev admits: “Hence, there is only one path forward – the complete dissolution of the governing machinery of the adversarial nation and unequivocal assurances of allegiance for the future. Only by exerting Russian oversight over all occurrences, both present and future, in the territories of the erstwhile Banderite nation can we attain this. And we are determined to achieve it.” The West must wake up to the reality that the previously conceived European security architecture was obliterated on February 24, 2022. Russia is intent on completely subduing the second-largest European state, aiming to break the will of the Ukrainian political elite and the segment of its population determined to defend their nation’s sovereignty. This situation is unequivocally win-lose, and no attempts at reconciliation or negotiation can alter this fact. #Velsig #geopolitics #Medvedev #Russia #Ukraine

These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of May 29, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. @KyivIndependent

112.960 + 490 troops last 24 hours Russia’s losses as of January 11. 2023

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