Act II, the Russian Despoilment of Ukraine

The Russians and the Puffer Coat Putin’s plan for Act I in the despoilment and depredation of Ukraine did not go according to plan.

 1. The Russian army, a thuggish collection of murderers, rapists, and criminals with vast amounts of weaponry and armor with piss poor leadership and comms failed to drive down from Belarus, shout BOO! at Kyiv, and take the capital and kill the President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy in the planned 4 days. Stupid Russians.

This was not a foot fault. It was a huge disappointment.

 2. The Russian army and leadership did expose their savagery — nobody, apparently, paid attention to Chechnya I/II, Grozny, Georgia, Crimea, Syria, Donbas — and the world was revolted, but, more importantly, the Ukraine army and people rose up in defiance.

 3. Napoleon said, “In war, the moral is to the physical as ten to one,” meaning when one is fighting a barbaric enemy for a righteous cause, the advantage though outnumbered and outgunned is with the righteous cause’s warriors. Bravo, Ukraine!

 4. PC Putin did not anticipate the unity of the western democracies — who in my book are still at the Gentleman C level — in unleashing economic sanctions and supplying weapons to Ukraine.

The world needs another Hermit Kingdom and should wall off North Korea on the Steppes until the sun itself boycotts Russia. Let them drink oil.

 5. In the south, Russia, by dint of arms and the shorter lines of communication and supply coming out of Crimea gained traction, but at the cost of destroying beautiful seaside cities like Maruopol — a city of  500,000 levelled with massive amounts of civilian casualties and no ability to escape through humanitarian corridors.

It is impossible to believe that a nation does to Maruopol what Russia did in 2022. It was medieval and Dark Ages aggression, and, in my view, disqualifies Russia for all time to return to the community of civilized nations.

 6. Russia revealed a national character perfectly comfortable with killing babies, children, mothers, women, and old persons — complete with bombing hospitals, schools, train stations and executing public officials, cutting out tongues, and shooting innocent non-combatants.

 7. While the Russian army is a cesspool of vile men, they are not very good at the basics of soldiering and their logistics is juvenile and ineffective. Their plan was weak, their execution weaker, and their logistical support ineffectual.

So, where are we, Big Red Car?

Good question, dear reader, allow me to sum up thusly:

 1. Russia will not take Kyiv. This match goes to the magnificent army and people of Ukraine and its defiant leader Zelenskyy. Game, set, match Ukraine and Zelenskyy!

 2. Russia has been beaten back into Belarus to the north, a distance of about 100 miles, far more on the roads.

The Russians did not gratuitously retreat, they were bested and suffered staggering personnel and equipment losses at the hands of the Ukrainian army. On the way home, the Ukrainians put a spanking on them.

 3. These Russian units — including a handful of the most elite units in the Russian army, including their best Airborne formation — are not destroyed, but they are combat ineffective requiring new leaders, additional men, substantial replacement of combat lost gear they may not have, and exhibit the low morale of losers.

 4. Russia now, clearly, is focused on the eastern half of Ukraine and intends to drive up from the south, down from the north, and west to capture the most wealthy energy area of Ukraine. They likely are focused on a line described as the Dniper River.

This is also the part of Ukraine with the most native Russian language speakers which is one of the charades operated by Russia — they are coming to liberate the Russian speakers from the Nazis in Kyiv, but the flaw with that argument is the Russian army kills Ukrainian Russian speakers with great alacrity. They do not discriminate.

OK, so what happens next, Big Red Car?

Here is what I see:

 1. Russia is not able to hurry as they do not have the forces. This can take through Labor Day though the Russians desperately want to wrap it up by Victory Day, 9 May, the say in 1945 when the Nazis surrendered to the Russians in World War II.

Why do I say that:

a. The Russians have lost about 25% of their original invading numbers to KIA, WIA, MIA, POW with meaningful leadership losses even at the general officer level.

b. The idea that mauled units retreating from Kyiv are going to withdraw into Belarus and simply refit is nonsense. That would take at least six months and would require new leaders, soldiers, gear, and training. That will not happen.

c. What will happen is that these battered units will be cannibilized — meaning the rump of three BTGs (battalion tactical groups, the building block of the Russian army) will be forced together to make a single BTG. This is not a bad strategy, but it destroys unit cohesion and is an admission that they were beaten soundly. I don’t place a lot of value on that notion.

d. Nobody has been following the force level actions, but the Russians have called for a 130,000 man draft — perfectly normal do it twice a year, but accelerated a bit this time and they have announced these conscripts will be put into the combat arms to replace combat losses. Puffer Coat has said none of this draft will go to units engaged in Ukraine, but where are the combat losses, moron?

e. The Russians also put out a call for certain MOSs (military occupational specialties) amongst retirees under the age of 60. This includes specialized skills like anti-air and engineers. This is an oddity.

f. The Russians called up 60,000 reservists who will go to war. I figure this to be the direct combat loss replacements.

Bottom line: the Russians are struggling for bayonet strength. This is about half of their entire army in this fight. It is their best units.

 2.Russia is going to attempt to create an eastern Ukraine that becomes part of Mother Russia with a crescent along the coast to provide a land bridge to Crimea which is currently only reachable by a poor bridge to the east.

 3. Russia is going to level Maruopol to a degree that will erase the memory of  what they did to Grozny in the Second Chechan War. They will rebuild the port and the airport, but the city will be razed.

 4. Russia is going to visit a level of brutality in its operations that will make the orgy of murder we have seen thus far seem like a party. Having been exposed, they will now hold back nothing.

For God’s sake this is a nation and an army that went to war with “mobile crematoriums.” Consider that. They ship dead soldiers home, so who are the mobile crematoriums for?

OK, so, Big Red Car, how does it end?

This is a hard call, y’all.

 1. The Russian army did not get better overnight at its basic deficiencies — bad planning, bad leadership, bad execution, bad comms, and vulnerable equipment. They will not get better.

 2. The terrain in the east of Ukraine and the time of the year — after the dreaded Rasputita — will favor armor, but still the Ukrainians have their demonstrated skill with drones and shoulder fired anti-tank weapons, but the maneuver space will be more forgiving and the Russians will come in a frontal approach as opposed to a salient. A salient is a spear headed down a road whilst a frontal assault has a coordinated line of advance like a tsunami wave.

 3. While I have misgivings as to the actual level of ammunition the Russians have and the quality of their gear, they will enjoy rail logistical support which is the wheelhouse of their supply doctrine. They had no rail in northern Ukraine and they suffered as a result.

 4. The Ukrainians will fight with increasing confidence, and they will demand a horrific price for every foot of Ukraine. They will fight as well as they are armed. If the west arms them well, then many more Russians will die.

But, Big Red Car, how will it end?

OK, here we go:

 1. It will be tight, but the Ukrainians will more than hold their own.

 2. The Russians will pile on substantial combat power , line up artillery and shell their way forward, and push the Ukrainians back, but at the cost of a huge degradation of their forces. The Russian casualties will be massive.

 3. The Russians will use chemical and tactical nuclear weapons when they are stymied — they may warn Ukraine or they may not. Once the first tactical nuke goes off, the Russians will use them liberally and it will be up to Nato to see what happens next. This is the tinderbox moment. 

 4. The Russians — who will be smirking they escalated by using nukes to be able to de-escalate — will propose a settlement as follows:

a. Russia gets to keep Crimea and a line up to the Dniper River.

b. Ukraine will be the area west of the Dniper River including Kyiv.

c. Russia will agree that the new Ukraine will be allowed to join Nato. Yes, I know it sounds nuts, but Poland is a member of Nato and this will be viewed as an extension of Poland.

d. The Russians will demand that all the sanctions against them be lifted and that will turn out to be the real sticking point. If the west folds on this, then the world will end as Putin will conjure up an Act III.

Will the west take the deal, Big Red Car?

Yes, they will.

Putin will pretend it was all just a dream and demand to be reinstated in everything as if he had just graduated from seminary and gone to Confession and the west will wait for Act III which will happen.

The only alternative to this scenario is this — GIVE UKRAINE THE SUPPORT TO WIN AND EJECT THE RUSSIANS FROM EVERY INCH OF THEIR TERRITORY and leave Russia to rot on the Steppes.