National Security

Russia Trying To Close In For Kill

It's a crap shoot.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Russia is trying to close the Ukrainian deal soon, September at the latest. But the Ukes aren’t cooperating. Boo bloody hoo. National security ace Rebekah Koffler picks up the story.

Koffler: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov categorically denied reports Wednesday that Putin was mobilizing the entire Russian nation for to move to a full-scale war on Ukraine on May 9th, the 77th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

But as usual, Putin’s chief propagandist is seeking to deceive everyone about what the Kremlin is up to, so that its enemies do not preempt its plans. Because Russia is already mobilized for full-scale war.

Caught in a check-mate, by Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, whose forces have displayed unprecedented resistance against a much more powerful adversary, Putin is desperate to turn around battlefield dynamics. The Russian strongman has realized that he is up against a much more formidable opponent than he anticipated, as Washington provides to Kyiv formidable defensive weapons, superior training, and real-time targeting intelligence, which has helped Ukrainians kill a dozen of Russian generals.

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As we all wade further in this, President Biden must understand that Vladimir Putin has switched to a “total war, against the West,” phase and that mentality is fraught with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Strategic deception is a classic Russian statecraft tactic, which Putin practices routinely against US leaders. The target of the KGB operative’s most recent ruse was President Joe Biden, whom Putin tricked into believing that Russia wasn’t going to invade Ukraine. Putin gradually assembled 190,000 troops, which almost encircled Ukraine, while Moscow “diplomats” were “negotiating” with Washington’s gullible amateurs over so-called “security guarantees.”

A committed realpolitiker and student of history, Putin, who rules a country that has been at war for two thirds of its existence, decided a decade ago that preparing for war was a prudent step. Believing that America and Russia are on a geopolitical collision course, given that both are vying for influence over post-Soviet states like Ukraine, Putin in his mind, turned the famous phrase by Carl von Clausewitz on its head, deciding that that politics is but a continuation of war, instead of the reverse.

Putin in fact initiated the process of moving Russia in the direction of a wartime footing as early as 2013, hatching a plan to take over Ukraine’s Crimea, which he did in March 2014. For him, Ukraine is a red line, a buffer with the West needed to keep NATO from encroaching. Memories of the German invasion in World War II are always at the forefront of the Russian mind.

In spring 2014, Putin’s “new mobilization plan of the state economy” went into effect, directing the “defense industry, including approximately 800 companies, to gear up for a sudden increase in capacity, instead of conserving its capacity.” This was probably the result of Putin declaring a so called “special period,” a legal regime that enables the Russian government to take emergency measures aimed at the intensive preparation of the country, the armed forces, and the state security forces for war. Realizing that economic sanctions were Washington’s key instrument of war, Putin began sanction-proofing Russia’s economy by de-dollarizing Russia’s sovereign wealth fund in favor or the Chinese Yuan, the Euro, and gold.

Putin also directed the implementation of an import substitution program to reduce Russia’s reliance on foreign products. This is why, at least in part, Western sanctions, as draconian as they have been, have not changed Putin’s calculus on waging war on Ukraine.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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