Monday, 12 September 2022

"Today is one of the greatest days in modern history" [updated]


Russia's invasion of Ukraine has unravelled. Due to Ukrainian ingenuity and resolve. Due to Russia's now-widely revealed incompetence and cowardice. 

Russia's Kharkiv front has completely collapsed. In just 72 hours, Ukrainian armed forces has retaken over 2,500 sq km of Russian-occupied Ukraine, cut Russian communication and supply routes to occupied-eastern Ukraine, and routed and destroyed the equivalent of three combat divisions of the Russian occupiers. Russian military and occupiers on the Kharkiv front are fleeing, many in civilian clothes, leaving behind weapons and equipment that will come back to them with interest. There is unconfirmed chatter on Telegraph channels that the Kherson front is also beginning to fray; that Russian units there are talking surrender -- and that fighting is breaking out between Russian and Chechen units there. And now even pro-Russian commentators and Kremlin propagandists are beginning to talk openly about the Russian military collapse, and what happens next. Not next for Ukraine, but next for Russia.

Because the military collapse has exposed post-Soviet Russia to be as much a fraudulent paper tiger as the pathetic totalitarian bully it replaced. Russian power comes -- and always came -- from the perception of its power. Courtesy of Ukrainian resistance and inspiring leadership, Putin's "special military operation" has destroyed that perception. Utterly. Not ten feet tall at all -- truthfully, it's barely six inches. Destroyed with it too the idea that authoritarian regimes have some special advantage when it comes to waging war. Turns out it makes them ineffective even at foreign aggression -- and now, we hope, at domestic repression as well. All that Russia has in its arsenal now, it seems, is its energy stranglehold over a Europe that has voluntarily thrown away its ability to generate power without Russian gas. But that Russian gas is already cut -- and with mothballed plants being re-opened and newly-arriving LNG supplies coming online, even that leverage is all-but spent.

It's time for the world to celebrate a historic day: of the end of the Post-Cold-War Cold War, and all that that implies for world peace and security. And for Putin to take care walking past windows.


Map from Institute for the Study of War here. Interactive map (updated daily) here.


El Scorcho FC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Even the pro -Russian military bloggers have gone off Putin.
Russian troops through cowardice or mis - management ran away in Izyum the Russian headquarters.
Putin is on the ropes.

Mark Hubbard said...

A great day.

Duncan Bayne said...

That is great news!

What next for Putin and the Russian people I wonder? Time to put on some Iron Maiden ...