Russia doesn’t have much of a military. They’ve proven to be a third rate nation. What they did have was a first rate propaganda department. When I hear US politicians parroting Putin’s lines I realize how effective the propaganda has been. Why so many in the US suck up to dictators is a mystery to me. Do they love authoritarianism more than democracy?
Be that as it may, the Kremlin’s propaganda has lost a lot of its polish. The attempts to insert viral videos in social media has gotten clunky of late. Perhaps a lot of those clever computer savvy young people have now fled to Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and parts unknown?
Enough of that little side trip. So how does the war end? Russian victory? Not going to happen. It was known right from the start that Russia failed to commit enough troops and resources to hold the country. It was thought they had enough to take it, but taking it and holding it are two different things. As events on the ground have demonstrated, they didn’t even have a strong enough military to take it in the first place. All they can do now is commit atrocities. That doesn’t win the war. That creates life long enemies.
Will the war end with a peace treaty? What would that look like? Ukraine has no desire to let Russia keep an inch of Ukrainian soil. Why should they? Russia will just try again later. That’s what history has demonstrated and Ukraine isn’t going to settle for that again. Now if Russia would give up all claims to Ukraine, returned Ukrainian citizens, paid reparations and demilitarized the border, they might get a treaty. Might.
Let’s say the Russians are pushed back to their 2013 borders. What happens then? In the past the thing to do would be to continue on to Moscow. The west won’t let that happen and I don’t think Ukraine wants or could do that. Now if for some reason NATO got involved, that definitely could happen. However, it’s unlikely.
So how does it end? First lets think about how Putin ends. I can’t see how he survives this. He’s as clever and vicious as a cornered rat so it could go down dirty. Will the rest of Russia let him drag down the country? Will his replacement be even worse? Get your popcorn ready. The show is about to start.
There’s a fair chance this will end with the breakup of Russia. It’s not a nation. It’s an empire. The bits and pieces that make up the empire are getting tired of what’s been going on in Moscow. What military Russia has left may end up diverted to holding onto the remains of a Russian rump state.
So what can Joe Average do about this? Not a whole heck of a lot. There will be turmoil aplenty to go around. Expect some economic upsets around the globe. The US is actually in a pretty good place in the long term, so that’s a plus. Concentrate on the basics: food, water, shelter, and personal security. That will help immensely with day to day living. The next six months or so will be quite the ride.