Olympics are over and unfortunately my predictions from February 3, 2022 blog are coming true. Throughout the Winter Olympics, President Putin gave the spot light to China. February 21, 2022 (just as in 2014, right after winter games concluded) Russia began military action against Ukraine. The invasion has started with an attack on two regions Donetsk and Luhansk. General news describes these as “breakaway” areas that Putin recognized as independent and now apparently is “maintaining peace” in. Western world is doing exactly as Putin predicted, bickering about imposing sanctions. Presidential decrees are being written. EU meetings are taking place. Hungary is pro and even against. Basically, Western countries do not know how to respond in unison, President Putin has won. He has sensed the weakness, tested and then crossed the line in the sand and got what he wanted. Whatever the sanctions, he already analyzed the exposure and potential economic impacts. With time, sanctions will melt, dissolve and become irrelevant and the world will go back to normal. Meanwhile, Russia has expanded by the two territories.
Of course, President Putin will not be satisfied by just the two provinces there will be other areas that he has a taste for. While we Americans call our mid-West the “America’s Breadbasket;” Ukraine with their rich soil can feed the entire world. Moreover, there are numerous mineral resources in Ukraine that any economic strategist would want to get their hands on. Uranium and Gold are just two obvious desirables but there are also Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium used in modern batteries. If the world wants to go to renewable energy which needs to be stored in batteries having access to these natural resources is power.
In my opinion President Putin has not yet realized all of his ambitions for Ukraine and he will continue expanding West. The current response of the world’s has been so weak, that in the upcoming days or weeks, he will take over another one or two regions. Strategies of modern warfare have no concern with winter snows or muddy mess when the snows melt. Historically in this theater of war, winter elements had negative impacts on the campaigns of Napoleon and Hitler but modern warfare is different.
President Putin will keep expanding West to the point that he desires and the world will do nothing of significance (economic sanctions). President Putin will either stop once his ambitions are realized or continue forward. If/when President Putin gets close to pre-World War 2 Polish boarders, Poland will enter the conflict and pull EU and NATO in. (Prior to 1939 Polish territories reached significantly into modern Ukraine.) I cannot imagine that Poland will allow Lviv (Lwow) to become a Russian city. If this conflict happens, I hope Poland will support free and independent Ukraine.
Afterthought: Oh! Gosh – what about politically irrelevant Moldavia?
February 25th update: I am full of disappointment regarding short sighted European nations which are afraid to act strongly (mostly because of their short sighted economical fears). Cut Russia out of SWIFT!