The fall of Ukraine
More than a year has passed since the beginning of the large-scale invasion of russian troops into Ukrainian territory. On June 24, 2023, the Генеральний штаб Збройних сил України (English: General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces), as every day, issued statistics with the approximate losses of the russian army.
As we could see, that russia lost approximately 220 thousand soldiers, more than 4 thousand tanks, 3 hundred planes, 3 hundred helicopters, and 18 ships (including the missile cruiser “Moskva”).
The losses of the russian army are impressive. Considering that 210,000 killed are approximately 250-350 thousand wounded (which is why the mobilization was announced) – the statistics become even more special.
Losses of military equipment were estimated at more than 16 billion dollars on August 24, the Independence Day of Ukraine. Today, military hardware losses are even more remarkable, perhaps in several times. Yes, just one missile attack on October 10 cost 400-700 million dollars for russia, as the Forbes article tells us.
Russia’s losses are colossal, but this is not enough. At least for now.
200-300 thousand men, 20-25 billion dollars only for military equipment, not considering losses from sanctions, isolation, and disconnection of SWIFT.
That is, only in real terms, for 200-300 thousand people killed and wounded, Russia also spent 80 thousand dollars on each. With these funds, it was possible to build a modern city with hospitals, schools, kindergartens, and universities, provide housing and work for everyone, and conduct the “Experiment of the Century”, saving the lives not only of Ukrainians but also of their citizens.
At the same time, the Democratic World occasionally ponders the following questions:
“Shouldn’t we sit down at the negotiating table and end this war?”
“Russia has already lost many people, and we must stop this and restore world order.”
“Ukraine does not want peace, and we should not support the war. Russia is ready for peace, and we must negotiate.”
Is it possible to compromise the interests of Ukraine for the sake of global security, prosperity, and stability?
Short answer: no.
We will not consider in this article the question of morality and philosophy of “Good-Bad”, and “Right-Wrong”. We will speak only about facts, figures, and statistics.
Russia continues to actively declare that it is at war with fascists from the NATO bloc, Anglo-Saxons, and antichrists. Of course, listening to the Kremlin is not the best solution. But in global issues, this Kremlin regime tells the truth. At least the truth it believes in.
The war against Ukraine is not the local conflict we are used to. It is not religious, but it is a war of two beliefs – Freedom and Dictatorship. However, any war goes for resources. And here, we begin to realize that Ukraine is the diamond of Russian imperialism. And without this diamond, the existence of the empire is impossible.
Let’s assume that the Kremlin’s plan worked. A year ago, or a year later, Kyiv could not stand. The world seemed ready for it on February 23, 2022, and a few more weeks after the invasion. That is, this option was acceptable. But was it proper, and is it so now?
History does not like the word “If”. But the numbers are a base that cannot be rewritten.
The population of Ukraine is more than 40 million people. Since the beginning of the invasion, more than 4.8 million people have become internally displaced (those who applied). (Resource: https://minre.gov.ua/2023/02/11/na-vyplaty-dopomogy-vnutrishno-peremishhenym-osobam-u-sichni -bulo-spryamovano-ponad-62-milyarda-gryven/)
In general, the number of IDPs (Internally displaced persons) can be up to 7 million.
At the same time, the number of Ukrainian refugees in Europe is more than 8 million people – primarily women and children.
Almost 3 million more – went to and were deported to russia.
Talking about 40 million refugees seems like nonsense. But if we sum up internally displaced persons, deportees, and those who have gone abroad, it is already 18 million people. These are those who fled the war and, simultaneously, were able to leave. Men defend Ukraine on the battlefield, while their women try to survive and protect their children in Europe and safer regions of Ukraine.
If Ukraine loses, these people will take their things and leave to their families or simply to the world behind their eyes because Ukraine is their home, just as the Finns did in the Soviet-Finnish war (Winter War) of 1939-1940. After the occupation of the southeastern region of Finland, all the inhabitants of these territories (and they were ethnic Finns) moved to the other side of the border, to Finland.
But refugees are pushed to Europe not only by shells but also by humanitarian, social, and economic problems. Thus, the shelling of civilian infrastructure, in particular, the energy generation of Ukraine, became a real challenge.
At the same time, the russians continue to shell and destroy hospitals, schools, housing stock, warehouses, and shell fields and hold essential facilities, such as the Zaporizhzhya NPP.
Ukrainians in their state are not only at risk of being killed by rockets, shaheeds, or uncontrolled parts from missiles. The threat of hunger and epidemics continues to decry. And although Ukraine is the granary of Europe, producing tens of millions of tons of grain every year, in the history of Ukraine, there has already been one famine, with massive grain export data.
War, hunger, poverty, devastation, despair, and, ultimately, lost Ukraine.
Without emotions, it is difficult to assess risks. But it is unlikely to be a calm influx of refugees who will come to Europe, integrate, and forget everything. It will be a multi-million European ethnic group without its state, which it has lost.
The Збройні сили України (English: Armed Forces of Ukraine) proved on the battlefield that they do not plan to retreat.
“I need a weapon, not a taxi” – the words of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi.
At the same time, this is the motto under which every Ukrainian soldier fights. The army’s fighting spirit is at its height, but for victory, we need weapons – tanks, planes, shells, and cartridges. What will happen if these weapons are not available? The Ukrainian people will fight heroically, but ultimately, they will lose. And then Ukrainians will need taxis – they will go. But these taxis can be on track, and these taxis can fly or float.
The defeat of Ukraine is a new border between the Free World and the Darkness of Dictatorship. And this border is unstable.
History has been rewritten, and borders have been redrawn
NATO must go, and Imperial borders must be restored. At least, that is what russia claimed before the full-scale invasion began.
Among the main requirements is a return back to 1997. Putin wanted to repeat history by denouncing the expansion of NATO:
- Fourth expansion (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic);
- Fifth enlargement (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia);
- Sixth expansion (Albania, Croatia);
- Seventh Expansion (Montenegro);
- Eighth expansion (North Macedonia).
In this way, the Kremlin outlined its priorities and areas of influence. If this return back happened, the world would be changed radically. The “security umbrella” that covers Eastern European countries would cease to operate, and everything happening now in Ukraine would have passed to other countries.
The weakness of NATO and the Allies would be a sentence for Ukraine and a return to the state of the Cold War. At the same time, this conflict would already be heated – the russian military machine was launched, and tanks were driving around Kyiv. If NATO agreed to the Kremlin’s ultimatums, these same tanks would most likely be standing on the border with Germany and Austria, and Ukrainians, Belarusians, Czechs, Slovaks, and Romanians would be on the side of the Russian Liberation Army (which sounds ironic, but close to the truth)…
At least those who the repressive apparatus of russia will not kill.
- “We will reach the English Channel”;
- “We can repeat”;
- “Let’s hit Berlin, Paris, and London”;
- “We are at war with NATO and the Nazis”;
- “We don’t need a world without Russia”.
of Mongoose” is the probable name of the so-called special operation
launched by the Kremlin on February 24, 2022. We cannot know exactly what plans
were on Vladimir Putin’s mind, but based on the propaganda, we can form the
All these statements are broadcast 24/7 on russian TV. At the same time, propaganda acts as a “probes the soil” – to assess the reaction in russian society and European countries.
The Ukrainian front is, in fact, more than half of the business for the russians. And although today, the russian army is storming the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbas without success, this course of events is a real stroke of luck for Europe. It is unlikely that other nations of Europe could withstand such an influx. Russia pelts Ukrainian ДЗОТи (earth and timber emplacements) with corpses, sparing neither the enemy nor itself.
At the same time, in parallel with the war, we are observing the results of opinion polls. For example, a survey among Germans shows they do not desire to fight for their country.(Resource: https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/yougov:-very-few-germans-would-take-up-arms-to-defend-homela)
According to a survey conducted by YouGov:
- 5% of respondents will volunteer for the army;
- 6% of respondents would expect to be drafted into the army;
- 33% would continue to live as if nothing had happened;
- 25% would leave Germany as soon as possible.
It is worth noting that this survey was conducted without indicating the aggressor country, and Germany is a member of NATO and protected by Article 5 on collective security.
In parallel with this, a survey is mentioned that was conducted by KMIS (Kyiv International Institute of Sociology) before a full-scale invasion, February 5-13, 2022.(Resource: https://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=1099&page=1)
Yes, according to the survey:
- 57.5% will defend their home;
- 37.3% will pick up a weapon;
- 12.4% will go to safe regions (another 7.5% will go abroad).
At the same time, at the beginning of February, russia’s offensive was already inevitable, although it was not clear what kind of military intervention russia was planning. Yes, many expected a local military operation in Donbas, which would not affect other regions of Ukraine. In fact, the war became full-scale from the first day, and Ukrainians stood in lines to the military commissariats and took their relatives, women, and children to safer places.
The language of numbers does not lie. Ukrainians were ready to resist, even though defeat was predicted for them. In fact, one in 57% were willing to die defending their home.
Are other nations ready to die? It isn’t easy to answer. But besides that – should they die?
Ukraine is the shield of Europe
As mentioned above, the language of numbers cannot lie. But the human factor introduces uncertainty into any statistics. Yes, when comparing russia and Ukraine, you can compare only a few indicators to be horrified.
It would seem that, on paper, everything is resolved. Ukraine must lose, russia’s triumph is inevitable.
On February 24, 2022, it seemed so to almost everyone, and within a few days, russian military equipment and sabotage and reconnaissance groups confidently entered Kyiv. Putin, in his address, noted that any help and interference in the affairs of russia on the territory of Ukraine would lead to inevitable consequences. In particular, the Kremlin has put its nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.
But, despite the passivity of the West in the first days of the war and statistical data, Kyiv persisted. And then, we had to negotiate the supply of weapons, humanitarian aid, and sanctions.
Near Kharkiv, a convoy of RosGvardiya, which was intended to clear the rear and suppress resistance, was burned. But, if the russians succeeded, Ukraine would be wholly occupied (de jure or de facto).
The Kremlin would open the way to the English Channel directly through Berlin with the slogan “We can do it again.”
All this remains only threats, but only because Ukraine withstood the onslaught of the enemy. If this had not happened, russia would have received not only courage and its pearl for the tsar’s crown but also unlimited resource possibilities.
The 20th century was challenging and tragic for humanity: two world wars, the Cold War, a pandemic, genocides, and bloody revolutions… The world we live in today resembles a “powder keg”.
The idea of caricatures of the 20th century can be superimposed on today’s realities. And while the world changes, the essence and the challenges we face remain constant.
The First World War led to the creation of the League of Nations.
The passivity of the League of Nations and the reluctance of countries to protect peace with weapons in hand led to a new challenge – the Second World War.
What will the passivity of today’s international organizations lead to? Let’s hope we don’t find out.
This phrase can be heard very often. Unfortunately, everything is not so simple. And it is not about the pride of Ukrainians or the radicalism of “Zelenskyi and Ukrainian Nazis”, who will fight “to the last Ukrainian”.
The Kremlin’s propaganda portrays this conflict as russia’s internal affairs, where it seeks to protect the regions of southern and eastern Ukraine. At the same time, Ukraine acts as an aggressive party that does not want to negotiate peace, refuses to deal with Putin, and constantly asks for the support of the West.
Why won’t Ukraine agree with the Kremlin?
It has been already. So, in 2014, after the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine lost Crimea. The peninsula was handed over to russia without firing a single shot, and the annexation of Crimea led to the conflict in Donbas. In Donetsk and Luhansk, it all started with a small group of armed saboteurs who began to seize administrative buildings.
There were hopes in Ukrainian society that the surrender of Crimea without resistance and the desire to negotiate with terrorists in the East would become an argument in defense of International Law and Sovereignty. Thus, Ukraine counted not only on implementing the principles of the UN Charter but also on the security guarantees received under the Budapest Memorandum.
The pacifist sentiments were unjustified because the internal conflict in Donbas turned into a real war, where the russian side openly supplied weapons to the militants. Ukraine was forced to agree to a cease-fire and freezing of the conflict.
The war began to be perceived as something distant and long forgotten. At the same time, society was waiting for the expansion of diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict.
It was believed that the election of Zelenskyi as the president would move the process of negotiations from a deadlock. Yes, at the end of 2019, a meeting took place in the Normandy Format (French: Format Normandie) with the participation of Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Vladimir Putin.
The condition of the meeting was the so-called “planned troop withdrawal in the eastern town of Zolote”. This process caused societal conflict, and the military warned about the risks. But the troop withdrawal took place, and in a few weeks, it became clear that it was a mistake. (Resource: https://podrobnosti.ua/2338881-iz-za-razvedenija-vojsk-v-zolotom-vrag-zanjal-peredovye-pozitsii-ukrainskoj-armii -biletskij.html)
On the other hand, the meeting in the Normandy format made it possible to exchange prisoners.
That was the end of the good news, and the conflict in Donbas continued to develop, sometimes was information about the accumulation of troops by russia near the borders – not only in the East but also in the North, on the side of Belarus.
In the end, we have the following situation:
- Ukraine surrendered Crimea without a fight and a diplomatic solution to the Donbas conflict;
- it withdrew its troops from fortified positions.
The result is 8 years of exhaustion for Ukraine and preparation for a large-scale invasion by russia. At the same time, the desire of Ukrainians to resist aggression was not radical. Thus, after the occupation of Kherson, local residents went to peaceful demonstrations against the attack. In the north, when the enemy was approaching the capital, in the Chernihiv region, people stopped russian tanks with their bare hands and turned them around.
All this desire for peace led to horrors – Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, atrocities in Kharkiv Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast, shelling of Kremenchuk, Kramatorsk, and war crimes in the east and south of Ukraine.
The desire for peace led to a genocidal war, the killing of civilians, and the bombing of infrastructure, hospitals, schools, and kindergartens. Crimes against children include being shot in the back of the head, rape, kidnapping, and abuse.
International law could not prevent the war, and Ukraine’s resistance is the only thing holding the horde back.
Behind the fall of Ukraine is an abyss and the collapse of civilization.
Of course, the losses caused to russia during the invasion will have to be compensated (including at the expense of Ukraine).
And it is unlikely that the aggression will continue in the next year or two, but now it will be only a matter of time.
However, if Ukrainian IT can easily emigrate, then the material base and resources are what is the real reason for the war. In particular, Ukrainian land is a real treasure. Stalin and Hitler put this country first in their global imperial plans. Today, Ukraine is a priority for russian dictator Putin.
Ukraine is a natural gift for building any empire. And this gift becomes more and more valuable every century. If a thousand years ago, these lands were necessary because of their fertility, then in the 19th century, the industrial revolution began here, and in the 20th century and the development of nuclear technologies was built on the resources of the Ukrainian south – steel, coal, uranium. Moreover, Ukraine was the leading producer of oil and gas for the Soviet Union. The Galician region, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in particular, was the third largest exporter of oil after the United States and russia. The oil and gas industry in Ukraine collapsed before the fall of the USSR. Perhaps this was done specifically to increase the dependence of the Ukrainian SSR on russian oil and gas. At that time, the deposits of Siberia were already developed.
AGRO-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX OF UKRAINE
Here we include, first of all, grain, sunflower oil, nuts, honey, and corn. Last year, the so-called “grain agreement” became a temporary solution. What will happen in 2023 with the export of Ukrainian grain is a question.
At the same time, Ukrainians feed mainly the countries of Africa and the Middle East. One might think that, in this case, the civilized world is not threatened by famine, but it will lead to terrible consequences – a new wave of refugees to EU countries, who will have nothing to eat at home. Ukrainians know very well what hunger is. Repeating history in the 21st century is unacceptable.
Oil, gas, iron ore, and other ores. Ukraine contains some of the world’s largest reserves of titanium and iron ores, untapped lithium deposits, and vast coal deposits. Together they are worth tens of trillions of dollars. (Resource: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/10/ukraine-russia-energy-mineral-wealth/)
Ukraine is not only the Motherland of a large number of IT projects but also one of the most important exporters of raw materials used in electronics and chip production. Thus, over 50% of the world’s neon production before the war was concentrated in Ukraine. The largest enterprises are in Mariupol (a city occupied by russia) and Odesa.
The cost of neon has increased and is only now gradually stabilizing. However, it is too early to talk about price normalization. The world was already facing a semiconductor crisis. Currently, the situation may repeat itself. russia understands what resource base it blocks and how it can affect world markets. In addition to neon, Ukraine was a major exporter of krypton (13-45% of world exports) and xenon (5-20%). All these are the so-called “Noble gases”. In fact, Ukraine can be replaced in the market of these gases. But there is one significant nuance.
Taiwan and South Korea will gladly occupy a free niche. But this is only a temporary solution. If Ukraine loses, the successive wars will likely be the war of the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan, as well as the confrontation between North Korea and its southern “brothers”. The fall of Ukraine will trigger a domino effect. The risks are difficult to overestimate. There are many “dormant” ideological conflicts around the world. Ukraine-russia, Israel-Iran, Taiwan-China, South Korea-DPRK, Pakistan-India, Kosovo-Serbia… Overall, Ukraine is home to 117 of the 120 most widely used minerals and metals. The official websites no longer indicate the geolocation of these deposits; the government, citing national security, removed them in early spring.
It is complicated to calculate the value and importance of everything related to the military sector. However, it is worth noting that Ukraine, even in wartime, remains a major industrial complex center in Eastern Europe.
However, it is worth noting that Ukraine, even in wartime, remains a major industrial complex center in Eastern Europe.
Uranium is also concentrated in Ukraine, which can be easily used to create nuclear weapons. But what is important is the scientific base, scientists, and experience. In general, Ukraine can restore its nuclear potential at any time. Currently, the only difficulty is the Budapest Memorandum. But the fall of Ukraine will lead to a situation where the russian authorities will create a nuclear center in the region. Today, russia has already announced its plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus. Ukraine looks even more attractive in this matter.
What threatens the world with a nuclear war is a rhetorical question. It is unlikely that we will be able to see it. It will be the last conflict for our Civilization. Now, for the first time in a long time, russia is waging a large-scale war without Ukraine, the Ukrainian spirit, and resources. And this is the first war that russia can really lose.
The world fears this, but russia’s defeat has already become inevitable. The only question is the timing and the price that will have to be paid for peace. And this price is not measured in dollars, euros, or russian rubles. All this is the life and destinies of millions of people.
Inflation in the EU because of the war
There is an opinion that Europe is paying a lot for this war. Inflation indicators are used as confirmation. This is partly true, but it is worth digging deeper to see what is not apparent.
For example, inflation has risen in the EU since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The war accelerated this process, but the blame for this is not the sanctions against russia, but the Kremlin's pressure. (Resource: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/16056046/2-23022023-AP-EN.pdf/4a097379-8598-01ff-12d8-75d72570ca85?version=1.0&36)
Countries that understand what will happen if Ukraine falls. And what will inflation be (if it is of any concern at that time).
We have already seen the fears that Russia creates in Ukraine, killing, as they say, “brotherly people”. Moreover, the only argument for not using nuclear weapons against Ukraine is that their shrines are located in Kyiv, such as the Києво-Печерська лавра (English: Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra). In Berlin, Paris, and London, as they say, there is nothing. And there will be nothing there.
An actual genocide is taking place in Ukraine. If we close our eyes to this today, then tomorrow, this genocide will be even more significant.
We remember how intelligence first reported that crematoria were entering Ukraine, how the standards and requirements for mass graves were described in the Russian standardization document, and packages for corpses were ordered. All this, as it became clear later (after Bucha, Irpin, Gostomel, Kherson, and other de-occupied zones), was intended for the civilian population.
And this apparatus of destruction will not stop and, therefore, will move on to other groups in other countries. Eastern Europe will fall if Ukraine falls. And Western Europe will not complain about inflation because it will be the least of the problems: nuclear, technological, economic, resource, and food potentials will pass into the hands of an aggressive empire.
“To go mad from fat”
Ukraine will become “fat” for the Russian military and repressive machine. And this car will go mad somewhere on the Champs-Élysées, near the Brandenburg Gate, or on the Côte d’Azur.
Playing Russian roulette is always a risk, excitement, and adventure. But in this case, the revolver is 100 percent ready, and playing this roulette is not a game of chance but suicide.
Is the world ready to play this game?