ISSN 2330-717X

Ukraine: The Unending War – OpEd

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The war that was not to happen or may be ‘Blitzkrieg’ type operation or the Russian planned short and swift ‘Special Military Operation’ is now turning out to be an Unending War!  Month of May has made the Ukraine war to enter into the third month. All assessments of military pundits who had made varied predictions that the war may not happen at all to the Ukraine Blitzkrieg have been blown into thin air. The Russian Victory Day celebrations on May 9 of the end of World War II are now only distant dreams! Or will Putin surprise the world to end the conflict by declaring Victory or worse escalate the ‘Special Military Operation’ into a full-fledged War on whole of  Ukraine?

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“Having pushed Ukraine into war, the US does not know how to save it. Having started it, Russia does not know where and how to end it.”In this Ukraine war diplomacy has failed to take off and has led to the battle of individualistic leadership ego forgetting national interests and world peace culminating into overall devastation. The only end to this conflict is a negotiated peace solution between Ukraine and Russia with the help of common friends.

Why the War is Unending?

Zelensky says; “If the world would like to end this war, it needs to supply us with heavy weapons.” This supply of heavy weapons is no solution to bring an early end to the war but will only escalate and prolong the war bringing further destruction and misery to Ukraine and Ukraine only with more and more Ukrainians dying. In this fight for survival to stand up to the Russian might Ukraine is being actively supported and led by the US ,NATO,EU and Europe through supply of all kinds of Switchbladesuicidal ‘Kamikaje’ drones, anti-tank weapons and heavy weapons. The war therefore is not likely to end any time soon but will prolong. For Ukraine, there are no options but to fight for survival not just for territorial sovereignty but also national identity. Ukraine has very smartly withheld information of casualties suffered though inputs being fed leave much to doubt. Some Russian sources have indicated Ukrainian military losses which do not sound to be alarming. Ukrainian and the west Information Warfare has kept the Ukrainian morale high.

President Zelensky has smartly wielded information warfare and strategic communications as a force multiplier. Zelensky and the Ukrainian military are in fact practicing what the PLA refers to as the ‘Three Warfares’Public Opinion Warfare, Psychological Warfare and Legal Warfare. More over the type of fighting tactics being adopted by the Ukrainian forces is somewhat an irregular warfare – Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA) as small anti-tank hunting teams and drone operated hit and run operations.

The assistance being provided to Ukraine by the US and Europe will certainly boost up the material requirements for Ukrainian forces to make the difference that will be a major factor to further lengthen the war.US goal to weakening Russia as a military power through proxy Ukraine has added yet another factor to prolong the war. US Defence Secretary Austin said, “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability, and a lot of its troops. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability”. 

The Russian Perspective

Moscow’s problems have been compounded by US open public display of intelligence and the western media taking the war into their drawing rooms. The Ukrainian battlefield was quickly enveloped in the fog of war. But what is seeing is more than just media reporting, for evidence free stories, at times concealed behind fake claims and falsehoods so long as they are directed against Russia. It has been more about the western media’s sympathy for ‘Ukrainian resistance’.

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Russia cannot be seen as losing the war in Ukraine and if the West continues to support Ukraine in the manner it is doing with weapons, Russia will be committed to a long war. Complaining that the West is “stuffing Ukraine with weapons,” Russia pounded railroad stations and other supply-line points across the country. Hope this does not escalate the ‘Special Military Operation’ into a full-fledged War on whole of Ukraine to further escalating the war.

At the operational level, Russian operations seem to have violated some of the PLA’s time-honored “Basic Campaign Principles”:

  • ‘Know the enemy and know yourself’ – Russian military has clearly underestimated the Enemy (Ukraine) while apparently overestimating its own capabilities.
  • ‘Unified Coordination’ – Russian operations conducted in the northern, eastern, and southern parts of Ukraine at the inception of hostilities were found to be disjointed. 
  • ‘Comprehensive Support’ – Russian problems with logistics and other combat service support functions suggest that Russia failed to follow the principle of comprehensive logistics support.
  • ‘Surprise ‘- Russians military planners from the very beginning failed to adhere to, nor seemingly even attempted to achieve, the universal principle of war the surprise to take the enemy by surprise.

The west appears to be seeing wearing down Russia. Pressuring down Russia can be a grandiose objective of the US led West which may be militarily unachievable. Unfortunately NATO or Europe clearly hasn’t worked in stopping the war initially or since it started. It will be in no one’s interest to have the conflict go beyond Ukraine. NATO like the UN was established with the goal to safeguard peace and security in Europe. But judging NATO and the UN from the Ukraine crisis and their role in Afghanistan and other countries, do we think NATO is bringing peace to Europe and the world?

The US has military bases on every continent all over the world and the fact is that the US has done regime changes in countries across the world. With vested interests and such an attitude of the US and the West can one hope for an early end to the Ukraine war? “Wait and watch what Putin does on May 09 The Russian Victory Day celebrations.”

Reference:

Beijing’s Ukrainian Battle Lab by David Finkelstein

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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