Twilight Zone: What Does Putin Want? Why Is There No US, NATO or EU Diplomacy
A New Column By C.W. Thompson, for The Truth Barrier
C.W. Thompson is The Truth Barrier’s new Ukraine/Russia correspondent. I bring you here his first dispatch, (I asked that he compose the pieces as emails to me.) Over time, you will learn more about his background and how he knows what he knows. In the meantime, help me welcome him to our forum.
Sept 27, 2022
There is so much to say- the entire US/NATO media apparatus is jawboning and spinning things SO MUCH HARDER than I have ever seen- even in 2013-15 when they claimed they had the Syrian state and Assad on the ropes. The UFA (Ukraine armed forces) put forth a quality defense from Feb-August- but they were slowly retreating the entire time, their success was a matter of "We conceded ground, but we did impose costs on the other side". In May, this kind of defense is something that can be "spun". By August, this kind of defense is no longer "spinnable". Ukraine's budget (both military and basic needs) is entirely bankrolled by the US congress month to month. The UFA needed a public victory so that over the winter, they could pretend this war effort is "winnable".
There is a lot now to say about "force structure", which is a fancy way to say "How did [national army] invest their resources over the last 10,15,20 years?" The Russians undercommitted legitimate infantry battalions to a specific front (there were 3 main fronts attacked in Sept, the souther Kherson front held, which was the primary). With their intel advantage, the US showed the UFA how to take advantage of this at the right time. It was a humiliating miscalculation for Russia- they are abandoning people they claim to be protecting!!! But it is not an "operational" or "strategic" setback (these terms have fancy implications).
Bottom line is simple: ALL IT IS FORCING THE RUSSIANS TO DO, IS DOUBLE DOWN. THEY CAN AND THEY WILL. ANYONE PRETENDING OTHERWISE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE.
Russia has a variety of "goals" it can pursue. Obviously, the Kremlin fantasy is for iconic cities like Odessa to say "We realize we were mistaken, joining the EU is a scam, we welcome Russian administration, we were always Russian speakers and we need to stop the conflict". This is not happening right now- so they will downgrade to a more realistic end outcome- can we secure Kherson [which implies securing the rivers that feed Crimea's agriculture. This is a NON-NEGOTIABLE need for Russia- whereas retaking Odessa is a "luxury"]. Once you start filtering Russian goals through this (inexact) lens, it starts to become apparent that this could all be negotiated, and you see the crime the US is committing by trying to keep this war FESTERING into 2023,,, 2024....
Much more to say..... that's a start!
Additional material below, from the field:
More from Eva K. Bartlett here.
And below, footage from the NATO bombings that Sept 19. Some images blurred by YouTube.