Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck, A/K/A Dolt-45,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Russia and Ukraine

One thing comes to my mind, first off: The skin in the game of the average Ukrainian as compared to the average Russian.

For the Ukraininas, it's pretty clear. Their country has been invaded, twice, by the Russians. Strategy Page has reported that even the so-called Russified Ukrainians in Crimea and the Donbas are, more and more, choosing to throw in with Ukraine than with their occupiers.

For the Russians, I have not seen anything to indicate that Ivan Ivanov in either Moscow or St. Petersburg, let alone Vladivostok, could give two shits about Ukraine. This can be seen by the troubles that the Russian military is having getting men to enlist in their army. The reports are that the Russians have been greatly loosening their eligibility requirements for joining the army, with few takers.[1] They need people, as their casualty rate may be horrific.[2]

The Russians have been trying to make up the shortfall with private military contractors and with foreign troops. That has the age-old problem of fighting a war with mercenaries: They are willing to fight for a paycheck, but they are not inclined to die for one. The recruitment of criminals from Russian prisons by the mercenaries has additional problems with maintaining the good order and dsciple necessary for a competent combat force.[3]

On the other side of the coin, while both economies are suffering, Russia's potentially better suited to rebound. Putler can turn the taps wide and sell oil, along with coal, forest products, steel and gold. Russia may find that the market for Russian military weapon systems will have taken a beating, as nothing that they have has shown to be particularly impressive in this war (unlike LockMart). The future for advanced Russian weapons systems is rather grim.

For Ukraine, the situation may be more dire over the near term. The Russians, whether by accident or design, are poisoning/ruining a portion of Ukraine's fields.[4] Much of Ukraine's exports are agricultural. Their industry is being destroyed by Russian attacks under the toddler's principle of "if I can't have it, SMASH". So Ukraine may be an economic basket case for some years.

But in the longer term, if Ukraine can keep corruption under check,[5], then, with the assistance of the rest of Europe, they can recover to a point of having a more modern industrial base than they inherited from the fall of the USSR. Russia will continue down the road of mediocrity and inferior goods that they have been on for a century or more, with its citizens looking over the border towards Russia's more prosperous neighbors to the west and wondering why they can't ever have those nice things.[6]
[1] Does that sound familiar?
[2] Reports are that their casualty-care methods have been bad by US Army standards for the Second World War.
[3] The Soviets did this by having penal battalions that were tightly overseen by the NKVD, who would kill those soldiers whenever it suited them.
[4] Besides stealing all the grain those fucling orcs can get their hands upon.
[5] Something that the donor nations can enforce.
[6] Which is an argument for making it easy for Russians to travel to the rest of Europe.

1 comment:

Stewart Dean said...

Machiavelli on mercenaries: Don't use them
If they are lousy, they will lose your country for you
If they are effective, they will take it away from you.
Don't use mercenaries.

They won't take Russia away from Putin, but in crating an alternate army, you rot your own army and whatever governmental legitimacy and integrity you might have. Funny, Russia is a bit far north for a banana republic.