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In early 2014 a bunch of things happened at once: the end of a revolution, annexation of Crimea, Russia’s military invasion of Donbas, and also concentration camps, a sort of formalization of Russia’s version of fascism (rashism) that turned millions of citizens of Russia and Ukraine into cannon fodder and internally displaced persons.
Eight years later, Russia launched an all-out invasion, moving from a hybrid war to a conventional imperialist bloodbath copied from the old history books.
Western leaders perfectly understand the true goals of Putin's foreign policy, but they have struggled to agree on a unified position on how to best to obliterate Russia’s center of gravity, what Carl von Clausewitz called Schwerpunkt. The 19th century Prussian theorist introduced the topic in his famous treaties, Vom Kriege, calling this the point where all force must be directed.
What is the center of gravity in this war? That depends greatly on who answers the question.
General Valeriy Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, and Lieutenant General Mykhailo Zabrodsky, First Deputy Chairman of the National Security, Defense, and Intelligence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine say the Schwerpunkt is Russia’s military capability allowing it to strike targets remotely, from 2,000 kilometers away.
Figuring out what the Schwerpunkt is politically and economically remains a work in progress, at least in Ukraine, where Z team and paid foreign shills continue to evince the complete efflorescence of how groupthink is not that great in aligning collective actions with what might actually be achieved, in practice, that is. Once you realize this, you then have to kind of generalize and point out the importance of monumental fuck-ups, like not taking seriously repeated warnings that Putin would try to decapitate Kyiv in the first place. And so we’re left with gigantic billboards at international airports saying Ukraine is defending our freedom and politicians saying that liberalism, in the broadest sense of the word, can last forever.
I decided to subscribe to dozens of Telegram accounts this summer after chronicling the first 100 days of the war. And it’s been a very good thing for me to do, except at those times when my situational awareness needs to be focused on refreshing Ukraine’s macroeconomic outlook and instead I’m focused on war-adjacent content milling and bot farmers working for the President’s Office.
Ukraine’s historiographers have been a distraction. They have manifestly been working enormously hard, and some who actually are somewhat malevolent psychopaths, or at least grifters who have managed to convince themselves that they’re not grifters, who have run a grift not just on their audience, but on themselves, continue to churn out fabulous amounts of bullshit about how we should remember the bloody mess, if we survive it.
We concluded on Day 100 that non-thinking in the political sense has been a feature, not a bug, of the largest land grab in Europe since World War II.
A close reading of yesterday’s revisionist speech on Day 200 by Z at a hush hush YES brainstorming session in Kyiv reveals many further examples of events that one thinks cannot really be true, or cannot be true if the quasi-official or consecrated political narrative is to remain regnant.
“This will be the entire world’s most difficult winter ever ... During the 90 days of this winter, Russia will do everything to break the resistance of Ukraine, the resistance of Europe and the resistance of the world. This is what Russia hopes for. This is Russia’s last argument...”
“The events which will occur during the next three months are more important than everything that transpired during the 31 years of Ukraine’s independence and everything since the founding of the European Union,” he added.
This is a noble lie in platonic. It’s not something we think that’s true, but it’s what organizers of Z’s pep rally want us to believe. The problem is that punchy combinations of hooey and emotional power can’t replace competent governance and functioning democratic institutions. In other words, reality is more important than message.
That reality is that fascist Russia’s genocidal campaign is doomed.
Regardless of whether areas in Kherson and Kharkiv regions are completely de-occupied this year, Putin is in a geopolitical trap and has helped Ukraine become the largest and best-equipped fighting force in Europe. He has made it easier to acquire the capability to blow things up things at great distances