Welcome to my analysis of the third Phase of the Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. Phase 3? Yes, Phase 3. About the Phases we have only a few references from Russian officials. Especially, when Phase 2 officially started, we had some remarks from Russian officials about that. And that’s it. That’s why I decided, to make an own classification of Phases of this war. I presented them already in some articles. Especially you can read about it in the analysis of Phase 2.
According to the Black Mountain classification, we are still in Phase 3. Which means, that this analysis will contain events that already happened, and inevitably it will contain some predictions of how events could unfold, going forward. Phase 3 roughly began in August 2022 and is still ongoing.
Since many important events took place and are going to take place, I will need to keep my chapters short.
Even thought, I pointed out the reference to my Phase classifications, I will summarize, what the definition of Phase 3 is, below:
Phase 3 was activated, since NATO escalated the supply, command and control of the Ukrainian forces. This prevented them to collapse in Phase 2. The purpose of Phase 3 is to kill the Ukrainian material and human potential in militarily favorable regions, for the Russians, and to overstretch both, the Ukrainian and the NATO logistics in Ukraine as much as it is possible, to trigger a total Ukrainian collapse and hence, its total defeat. Thereby using strikes on both, its logistics and energy infrastructure, to accelerate the result.
This article is going to explain this in detail.
Read my article about Phase 1.
Read my article about Phase 2.
I will reiterate, as I did several times already, Clausewitz here. “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means”. One wins a war, by achieving the objectives, set by the political leadership. And here I will, as I did in the last two analysis, again point out the objectives. This is important to reiterate as many times as possible. Why? Because most commentators always forget what the objectives are and trying to analyse or criticize the war, based on the assumption, that the war is only fought, for the sole purpose of fighting a war. This is utterly wrong.
These are the objectives, set by the Russian leadership:
Denazification of Ukraine.
Demilitarization of Ukraine.
Bring to justice those Ukrainians, that have committed (war)crimes against its own population from 2014 onwards.
Free the Donbass to ensure its independence and security.
These are the sole objectives of the Special Military Operation (SMO).
I will explain in detail how the implementation will most likely be achieved.
Personnel situation in the Russian army
Phase 3 began in August 2022. August was a difficult month for the Russian army.
Many Russian soldiers signed up for a certain period. For example, for half a year. Due to the necessity of secrecy, most soldiers didn’t know for certain, that there will be war and that THEY will participate in this war. That’s why all contracts were issued with normal services periods. This led eventually to the situation, that a not insignificant part of the Russian professional invasion army experienced experiencing contracts at the end July 2022.
I don’t have exact numbers so I won’t throw around with made up numbers. Which I know, is, that far more soldiers left the army, due to expiring contracts, than new troops could be brought in. In fact, it means, that from August 2022 onwards, the size of the Russian forces in Ukraine decreased significantly.
Though, the line of contact still had the same length. Which means, less troops per mile (density) then before. Since in reality we don’t have every X miles Y soldiers, this is just an average. In reality less regions/villages were manned with Russian troops. Yes, Russia used the Donbass militia extensively, but they were not enough to fight off the whole rest of Ukraine and NATO mercenaries. Which, by the way, they shouldn’t do at all.
Summarized we can conclude that the personnel situation for the Russians deteriorated sharply in August 2022.
Training and equipment from abroad for Ukraine
Ukraine, at the other hand, started to mobilize as many able-bodied citizens as possible from the beginning of the war. First, they were used, to plug the holes and to establish a defence along the whole line of contact and to build up reserves. Then, newly recruited soldiers were used to plug the holes on the frontline. In Phase 2, the grinding consumed tens of thousands of troops at the frontlines in dead and wounded.
But during Phase 2, Ukraine reached a point, where they stabilized the situation. The ratio of casualties on the frontlines and the recruiting of new troops became stable and the best mobilized people could be separated to be sent abroad for training. The situation occurred, that Ukraine mobilized people at the one hand, to be immediately, and almost without training, into the trenches to plug holes, and on the other hand, to be sent abroad for training.
Why send them abroad? Why train them at all and not use them right away on the frontlines, to turn the war? NATO correctly understood that Russia has superiority in almost everything. Only not in the numbers of troops, committed to Ukraine. That’s why plans were designed to train and equip huge numbers of troops abroad, where they can’t be targeted during or right after the training. They would be trained according to NATO standards to be used in particular and predesigned operations, to fully exploit Russia’s biggest weakness. The number of its soldiers in Ukraine.
Several tens of thousands, some sources say up to one hundred thousand, troops were trained in the EU states. Equipped with NATO equipment, their task would be to attack strategic Russian positions with human wave techniques and stress their logistics and their concentration of forces at several sections that much, that Russian forces simply would collapse. As described in the analysis of Phase 2, the only Ukrainian chance is, to exploit the fact, that Russia is conducting a SMO and not a fully war. Thereby has only a limited number of troops committed. If this troops would be outmanoeuvred, they would do one of the following things:
Retreat from a certain section to avoid being overrun and defeated.
Being cut off from supplies and eventually either captured as POW’s or killed for propaganda issues.
One of both events we already experienced several times. The other not.
Russia was fully aware of the fact, that it needs to handle a war, with limited human resources and that NATO is trying to exploit this fact, with a pool of human resources, that can be exploited short of collapsing vital functions of the state. This point has already been reached, as I write this text.
Therefore, the Russian planners needed to design a strategy, that would include a lot of manoeuvres, pinning and deceptions. Only this way, Russia could handle such a far larger enemy force. At the end we saw that it still was not enough, but I will come to this point later.
Now let’s take a look at several events to work out the applied strategies.
The Ukrainians announced early on, that they would start an offensive on Kherson and eventually on Crimea. Obviously, it is rather strange if someone announces its military strategy in advance. But it looks like, the Russians had intelligence, that it must be truth and prepared accordingly. A large Russian formation was deployed west of the Dnieper. Not only a large force, but a very elite one as well. Many paratrooper units were deployed here, which are not designed for such long-term defensive operations. It is a sign, of being overstretched.
As far as I can see it, the forces, committed to the Kherson front were absolutely sufficient to hold the line. And they did. Eventually the Ukrainians actually started the announced large-scale offensive on Kherson in August. Every wave of Ukrainians was defeated. The situation caused, until its preliminary end in November 2022, several tens of thousands of casualties on the Ukrainian side.
I heard many sources and scenarios. And I concluded that the following scenario was the most probable one. It looks like that the NATO command planned to fix huge numbers of Russia’s troops, especially the most elite ones, in Kherson. While preparing secretly another large-scale offensive in Kharkov (Russian held territories of Kharkov) and use it as a key to apply maximum pressure on the Russian Donbass operations. Eventually, to trigger a collapse of the front in Donbass, coming from the North.
This could have worked indeed. Had Russia not mobilized (most soldiers, that left the army, after their contract expired in July/August 2022, were directly re-mobilized and recommitted on their positions without additional training. They were already experienced. So, the northern Donbass front could have been directly stabilized.
The NATO plan was thwarted. Now the next approach was, to cut off the most experienced Russian troops on the West Bank of the Dnieper. And defeat them or take them prisoner. It would be the last big opportunity to win the war. Why, win the war? We need to remember, as I pointed out in the analysis of Phase 1 and 2, if a party achieves the objectives, that are set by the political leadership, it has won. It doesn’t matter how many casualties etc. were taken. Well, I pointed out in these articles, that Ukraine’s goals are the Western/NATO goals and these are simple… We can break them down to: “Collapse Russia as a state and remove President Putin”.
If we think about it, it becomes clear that if 40.000 Russian troops, many of them elite ones, would be trapped at the West Bank of the Dnieper, they couldn’t be saved. They would be either annihilated or taken prisoners. What means “being trapped” on the West Bank? Well, after the mobilization was announced, it was pretty clear, to the West, that the former plans were void. They had one last chance, triggering a collapse in Russia. Cutting off the Russian grouping on the West Bank of the Dnieper. By destroying the dam at the Kakhovka reservoir.
Ukraine accumulated some 60,000 troops, or more, for such an operation. If the dam was destroyed, Russian logistics would collapse immediately. Without logistics Russia couldn’t held the West Bank. Especially not against such a large grouping.
Whether this plan had any chance to succeed or not, I don’t know. What I know is, that the newly appointed commander of the SMO, General Surovikin, decided, that it’s not worth the risk and decided to withdraw all troops on the left side of the Dnieper.
This decision has two implications:
The Russian troops are save.
The last chance of NATO to win the war was thwarted. Considering the fact, that soon, most likely in December, another 220,000 Russian mobilized troops will arrive on the battlefield or in the rear, there is no theoretical chance or possibility left, that would conclude into a Ukrainian victory. Essentially, by withdrawing from Kherson city, Russia killed all hopes of the West, to achieve any kind of victory or negotiation potential (several thousand Russian POW’s). It is over. Only the killing will continue now, until the Ukrainians collapse.
For a detailed analysis of the withdrawal and all military implications (as opposed, to the geo strategic considerations, pointed out above) read my according article.
The main front, though, is neither Kharkov nor Kherson. It is indeed the Donbass. Since it is the strategic goal of Russia, to free it. Most troops and equipment are concentrated in Donbass and is conducting, from the beginning offensive operations along the whole line of contact.
You might ask why there is no progress? I will come later to this, and I explained it already in the analysis of Phase 2, but it is very favourable for Russia to fight exactly at this position. Let the Ukrainians transport all their troops, supplies, equipment across the whole Ukraine and the same way back for repairs. Fight in a hostile environment. The Donbass population is clearly most pro-Russian off all regions in Ukraine. Most likely most civilians are already gone anyway. Which means, Russia can simply let the Ukrainians come and kill them over and over again. This is exactly what is happening. The Ukrainians are rotating frequently totally reduced formations (brigades and battalions) out and replenish them with newly formed and mobilized ones. Some call it meatgrinder.
Moreover, Russia has total air dominance in Donbass and very short supply lines to Russia. It is the perfect spot now, to keep fighting there. The only reason, why it is still working, is, that the Ukrainians mustn’t give up one inch of its territory, because otherwise all the support of the Western citizens would immediately collapse, if they would see the truth, that their support and own suffering (Europe deindustrializing and deenergizing) is in vain. Perfect conditions for Russia to destroy the whole Ukrainian army at favourable places under its dictated conditions.
I mentioned it in several articles. NATO knows exactly that their only possibility to win the war is, to deliver such a defeat in a single battle to Russia, that it would cause mass protests in Russia. And eventually a coup against Putin. Hence, taking prisoner of 40,000 troops or similar events (I know, exaggerated, but only to highlight the strategy). This is only possible, as long as Ukraine is able to exploit the biggest Russian weakness. The finite and low number of Russian troops in Ukraine. I described above, Ukrainian approaches to exploit this fact. Even though the probability is low, that such a disaster takes place, the probability is still too high. Don’t get me wrong. Russia would be able to conclude the SMO even without mobilisation. But with a far greater effort of every single solider and with the risk, that whole Russian formations got feinted into captivity. Or as President Putin said, there are not enough troops available to keep such a large frontline proper manned and equipped.
Well, to fight off the Ukrainian army safely is one reason for mobilisation. Later in this article we will see that Russia will be forced, to take step by step, as the Ukrainian army keeps collapsing, the whole of the territory of Ukraine. In the first two Phases such a necessity wasn’t mandatorily necessary. In Phase 3 it is necessary. I’ll describe it later in detail. Nevertheless, Russia will need many troops available while it keeps advancing into central and western Ukraine. For keeping the rear secure and maintaining order. As well as maintaining logistics and infrastructure works and taking care of huge camps off POW’s. This will be needed when the collapse begins. This is the third reasons for mobilising.
This was the second reason. The third reason is a little unpleasant. Depending on what strategy General Surovikin (I will discuss this in the strategic planning chapter) has chosen, Russia will need far more soldiers or not. If General Surovikin decided to execute head-on deep penetration operations in a front section, that is well defended (slightly unlikely), then Russia logically sustain huge losses. Not because it has a bad army, but because that’s how warfare works. You can easily calculate losses in such a scenario. This is which every general staff does, when planning such operations. And in turn in would mean, that these calculations would be passed in advance directly to Moscow to the recruitment offices and the second mobilisation wave would be activated before the offensive starts. Why? Because the estimated losses would occur and the reserves would need to be built simultaneously to replenish the losses and fill up in real time the depleted frontline formations. These mobilisations would continue until the war is concluded. Second wave, third wave etc. etc. etc. Essentially what is going on in Ukraine currently.
I personally consider reason three as very unlikely, that’s why I won’t argument further on this. What I want to do, is, to say that reason one and two combined will materialise. Russia will need to cover a large frontline with enough soldiers. And Russia will advance as soon as the last material and human reserves of the Ukrainians are depleted with a high velocity in Western direction. On its way Russia will need to let soldiers behind to maintain everything mentioned above. So, I assume, that we could see another 2-3 mobilisation waves. Roughly for every 400 miles of territory another mobilisation wave.
What is possible as well is a total collapse or total surrender. In this case it is possible, that Ukraine could be “handed over” into a Russian military administration. No more hostilities and mobilisations would be needed. Since we all assume, that the West will avoid this scenario, and fight literally to the last Ukrainian, I don’t give this, very desirable scenario, a high probability. Even though I assume, that this is and always will be, President Putin’s favourite outcome, to stop the bloodshed between brothers.
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With this chapter I want to lay another groundwork for the “strategic planning” chapter. So, let’s discuss the annexations.
I don’t want to discuss the process of the annexation itself, but only its implications. Nevertheless, I want to point out that the following regions were annexed in September 2022:
In fact, this decision sealed the fate of Ukraine, the war and the world. What do I mean?
Well… Russia has a passage in its constitution, that requires Russia to defend, and in case of enemy occupation, to recapture every inch of its territory. Now we have three Russian federal subjects, that are occupied by a foreign power. Hence, President Putin is obliged by the constitution, to do whatever is in Russia’s power, to recapture these territories.
Here the problems begin. Russia has almost unlimited power. With nuclear weapons. This is the next problem. The Russian nuclear doctrine foresees the usage of nuclear weapons if it loses militarily on its territory or if the statehood is in danger.
First, Russia would need to try to recapture these territories conventionally. For this task it can mobilize 25 million troops. If these troops all fail, or earlier, if the military command sees no other chance, to fulfill its constitutional obligation, a nuclear attack would be mandatorily carried out, to eventually win the war.
I want to sum it up.
Russia’s territories are occupied.
The constitution requires President Putin to recapture every inch.
If he can’t win conventionally, then Russian military doctrine applies, which says, if the Russian statehood is in danger or a military defeat in inevitable, then nuclear weapons must be used.
President Putin said in an interview, a few years ago, what do we need a world for, if Russia is no longer part of it?
If Russia can’t recapture these territories, we all are going to die.
This sequence is inevitable. Everyone who cheers, that Russia don’t recapture these territories or loses the war, in the same time cheers for die by a nuclear strike. Yes, Russia will vanish, but the rest of the world with her.
This is the small, little problem, that occurred due to these annexations for the West. This problem is unsolvable. The West knows this, the Western leaders don’t want to die, hence, the West is no longer fighting for a military victory. The West is instead, as pointed out several times, fighting to achieve a decisive strike, that would cause a collapse of Russia and President Putin. The rationale would be here, that there wouldn’t be any nuclear strikes during the process of collapse and dismembering.
Well, could be. But it is an insane dangerous and crazy game. The good news is, this will never happen anyways, since Russia is winning big time, and such considerations are only theoretically.
Why Donbass and the other two regions? Donbass is the “casus belli” of course. And the other two regions are the land bridge to Crimea. Will this be enough? Ok let’s continue with the following considerations. Let’s assume that Russia would proceed incrementally. Which means, it would first free the Donbass and then the other two regions. Without touching any other region, such as Kharkov etc. What would happen, provided that the Ukrainian army hadn’t collapsed at this point? Of course, these regions would be shelled and attacked regularly.
Russia is required by constitution to protect its territories. Which means, that it would now expand the security zones around its territories. And to make it permanent safe, Russia would annex these buffer zones as well. Now the same game begins again. Another iteration of the constitution/doctrine game. Russia will be required to fully free these territories. They will be shelled again, and there will be a new buffer zone. This game would go all the way up to Lvov. (Well, not exactly up to Lvov, but this will be discussed later in the chapter “Further thoughts”).
That is what Russia is by its constitution and doctrine required to. It could happen this way, but I have another picture in my mind, what eventually could happen. Eventually, it surely will be a combination of both, what I pointed out here, and what you will read in “Strategic planning”.
Just one last bit. I don’t think that Russia wants to annex the whole of Ukraine. The Western parts would do more harm than good to Russia. But who knows? Read more about that in the “Further thoughts” chapter.
Logistics is the most important factor, to consider in war. Especially in mobile war, as opposed to trench warfare. I will give some examples, what needs to be considered in a war from a logistical point of view:
Delivering fuel to the troops at the frontline
Delivering food and water to the troops at the frontline
Delivering spare parts to the troops at the frontline
Delivering mails to the troops at the frontline
Delivering lubricants to the troops at the frontline
Delivering ammunition to the troops at the frontline
Delivering equipment to the troops at the frontline
Delivering reinforcements to the troops at the frontline
Bringing back/collect empty shells to Russia or the next base from the troops on the frontline
Bringing back/collect broken or destroyed equipment to Russia or the next base from the troops on the frontline
Bringing back/collect mails to Russia or the next base from the troops on the frontline
Bringing back/collect dirty clothes to Russia or the next base from the troops on the frontline
Bringing back/collect waste to Russia or the next base from the troops on the frontline
I’m sure I forgot plenty of tasks for the logistics. But it is a good impression, to see, what amounts of goods needs to be transported every day in BOTH directions. For this to be possible there are several approaches. One can transport everything in a circular system by trucks. But for such large distances, that are in question here, it is simply impossible. One would need tens of thousands of trucks.
Indeed, the Russians are using, and always have used, the railways mainly, for logistics. Hereby, we need to distinguish between supplying mobile troops and troops fighting in positional warfare.
Mobile troops are tank or motorized riffle formations that are for example conducting deep penetration operations. It is by far more complicated, to keep up with their advances, they to supply a trench in Donbass, that is not moving for weeks or months.
Positional warfare logistics:
Bringing in supplies from Russia by train to the next logistics stations next to the frontline.
Build up supply hubs that are well defended from shelling, that are located far and near enough from the frontline, to assure a rational supplying of the troops, but don’t put it into immediate danger of being hit by stray shells.
Having smaller frontline ammunition and shell stocks.
Establishing a truck transport between the train stations, supply hubs and frontline stocks.
Establishing pipeline systems from the train stations to the supply hubs to save truck capacity.
Mobile warfare logistics:
Essentially the same, but far more stretched and thus, far more trucks in usage. Pipelines are also very difficult, up to impossible to be laid on huge distances. In fact, the advancing troops are depended on supply convoys with supply trucks and tankers. Which are traditional the most valued targets for the enemy. If the logistics for advancing troops don’t work, then there is no offensive. The supply convoys are by far not as guarded as a frontline tank division assault detachment. And here is the clue. It is NATO’s strategy, to fight the Soviets and now the Russians, to target its logistics as much as possible. This is exactly what we saw in Phase 1.
Why did I write this chapter? First, I want to highlight what is needed for large scale offensive operations. What do we need to look for, if we want to see indications for deep penetration offensives? Well. We need to look out for thousands of trucks and tankers. Maybe even tens of thousands. I assume, that such transports would be concealed. But for now, I didn’t see on open sources any indications, that such capacities were mobilized and brought into Belarus or next to Donbass. As I said, it can be due to concealment, so it doesn’t mean anything.
Second, what is far more important, I want to highlight the challenges, that the Ukrainians have, to supply their troops across the whole country. Most of the supplies are no longer produced or stored in Ukraine. It will need to be brought in, from Poland. And Russia is increasing the demand for supplies daily for Ukraine and at the same time is decreasing Ukraine’s capacities for transport also daily. An army without supply can’t fight and need eventually either to capitulate or to be destroyed. In one word. Collapse. This is the first hint, that I wanted to work out with this chapter, for the strategic planning chapter, later in this article.
New SMO commander
I pointed already some thoughts out, about General Surovikin. That’s why I don’t plan to write it in double. If you are interested in some thoughts about how and why he was chosen, read my article about Kherson.
Generally speaking, I want to point out that it is absolutely essential to have one single appointed commander for the operation. Most likely the command structure most follow the “Phases” as well. Since Phase 1 and 2 didn’t conclude the war with the small troops contingent, now Moscow decided, to change the approach and go to an operation, that looks more like a regular war. (Which it is still NOT). Such an operation needs a single commander. Phase 3 is essentially completely a General Surovikin strategy and execution.
Whether it is good and successful I can’t say yet. We will see when Phase 3 is concluded. Generally, I have a good feeling. Nevertheless, I will go into his strategic planning in detail in the next chapter.
As pointed out in my quoted article above, I’m sure, that General Surovikin was required to work out an overall strategy, for concluding the war sometimes in June or July 2022. Not only he, but maybe some other generals as well. His strategy was obviously accepted and he was appointed as the overall commander of the SMO.
In other words, this means, that there IS now an overall strategy for Ukraine, executed by one single commander. That’s in short, what I wrote in my other article about General Surovikin. First, I neither have it nor do I pretend to know what this strategy could be.
Since this article is describing an ongoing Phase of the war, I will need to give my predictions here. And that’s what I’m going to do. Keep in mind that these are ASSUMPTIONS.
General Surovikin seems to have started his command, by reshaping the battlefield. He brings all the figures in place, so that they can execute the final plan. Clearly, the withdrawal from Kherson is such an indicator.
To be able to execute his plan, General Surovikin requested, as already said, in June or July the mobilisation of XYZ number of troops. This was accepted and communicated when it fitted the best. Will it be the only mobilisation wave? Will there be more? I discussed that in the corresponding chapter.
Currently, some 70,000 mobilised troops with fresh fighting experience, were committed to frontline units to stabilize the undermanned frontlines.
Another 220,000 troops are being currently trained for their assigned task. Not all will be frontline troops. Many will carry out tasks in the rear, but by doing this, they will free up professional assault troops, to be able to be used at the frontline. Currently many elite troops are carrying out rear tasks, due to personnel shortages.
The big question is, what will happen, as soon as these additional 220,000 troops have been committed to the theatre of war. Here the predictions begin.
From my point of view, even these numbers are not enough for large scale deep offensives into the enemy’s rear. To be honest. I don’t have access to the intelligence reports of the Russian General staff. If there is intelligence available, that the Ukrainian army and the NATO supply lines are short of collapse, then there could be indeed some large-scale offensives. Which would trigger the collapse of Ukraine.
If this would be the case, then I suspect, that we would see increased pressure over the whole frontline of Donbass, to bring maximum stress into these vital but difficult NATO supply lines. We could see in every bigger town across the line of contact in Donbass offensive movements and probing. This would exhaust this supply line to collapse.
At the same time, I would assume, that we would see another two big arrows coming down from Belarus. One directly to the Polish border, creating massive pressure on Lvov.
The other arrow would again be pinning down troops and logistics around Kiev, as in Phase 1.
Considering these major supply spots, I would estimate one of two scenarios:
The total annihilation of the Ukrainian army, since the logistics would collapse almost immediately, and the Ukrainian troops wouldn’t have anything left, then small weapons to defend themselves. Since they won’t be every allowed by NATO commanders to surrender, this scenario would see a total annihilation of the Ukrainian army. Which would of course involve KIA’s, WIA’s and POWs in immense numbers.
If the Ukrainian army somehow manages it, to take control of the whole command chain, they could manage it to surrender. Not with conditions. I’m talking about an unconditional surrender. Would be good for Ukraine and its people, but NATO will try to avoid this scenario at all costs.
Why would Russia execute this strategy only, if there are reports, that the Ukrainian army is short of collapsing? Well, if there is a more or less organized fighting force, that is still supplied well, by NATO, then a large-scale assault would also lead to large scale casualties, and Russia would need to start in parallel further mobilisation waves, to replenish its losses. General Surovikin hinted in his interviews, that this is not his intention.
Well. If the Russian intelligence reports don’t suggest that the Ukrainian army is short of collapsing, what would happen then?
Then I assume, that General Surovikin simply will array his troops across the newly reshaped line of contact (LOC). This means, from Zaporizhzhia in the south, up to Kharkov in the north. Maybe even we could even see border incursions from Kharkov up to Sumy. But not large scale and deep arrows, but incremental ones, in a pace, that is possible by sparing its own troops.
When these troops are prepared and in place, we simply would see over the whole new LOC (line of contact) the same grinding approach, that we have seen during Phase 2 in Donbass. Only in a far large scale. We could also say, the pace of human and material resources depletion of Ukraine would be increased by multiple times. (FAR more dead Ukrainians per day).
This would be either done until Ukraine and its army collapses or surrenders, or if this doesn’t apply, then until the intelligence reports suggest, that they are short of collapsing, and then again could happen, what I described above. Another two large arrows at Kiev and Lvov from Belarus, to conclude the war ultimately.
That’s what it is. That’s exactly what I assume will happen. I might be wrong, but I’m very confident in my assessment.
Attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure
I’d like to forward you here as well, to my main article about the corresponding issue.
First, if you want to know why there is a SMO and not a full-blown doctrinal war, read my first article. See here.
Second, and I reiterate this as many times as it is needed, is not Russia’s enemy. Ukraine IS Russia. This is a civil war. The first and foremost objective of Russia is to avoid as many casualties as possible on both sides, since both people will live together in one state going forward. At least a big part of the former Ukraine. I’ll explain this “one state thing” in the next article in more detail.
Yes, many Russia politicians, generals and people are pissed off, how the SMO is conducted. This is very understandable. One might think that a big military power, such as Russia, would conclude such a war within days or weeks. And it would. But, again, there is certain multi-dimensional constraints. Many of these people even looking everywhere for betrayal and everyone is a traitor, expect President Putin himself. Well, that’s understandable. There are emotions. Especially, if we consider how brainwashed the Ukrainians are and what they are doing, to piss the Russians even more off.
See, it is very simple. The Western objective is to sow eternal hatred between Russia and Ukraine, so that an integration either is impossible or it would take generations to reconcile. This strategy is indeed very successful. Every report of torture or execution of Russian POWs is executed and placed intentionally, to trigger such feelings in Russia. To make it impossible for the politicians, that need to think long term and not only about what is happening now, to coordinate the re-integration of Ukraine into Russia. Well. As I said. This strategy of the West is very successful and due to the massive support, Ukraine keeps on fighting against Russia and is inflicting casualties. Which causes even more anger on both sides against each other.
That’s why Phase 3 is dialling the pain to Ukraine gradually up and is converging steadily into something, that looks more like a full-blown war. From a humanitarian perspective, this is a full victory of the West and a tragedy for the Russian world.
Well, Russia won’t use at any stage its most modern weapons, that are not known yet in full detail to NATO. Especially, to let them in the dark, about its real capabilities, in case of a real war against NATO. That’s why we rarely see S-400 systems in combat use. As far as I know, it was used only one time, at the first days of the SMO, before the field aid defences were deployed and operational. S-400 is only one example. There are numerous technologies, that mustn’t be shown to the West, before it needs to be used against the West. First, the West mustn’t observe it. Second, the worst-case scenario would be if such sensitive material would fall into Western hands.
Then I assume, that Russia would restrain itself from using its most destructive weapons in a large scale. There are weapons to effectively level cities and villages without using hundreds of bombs or missiles. For example, the father of all bombs (FOAB). Google it. Russia want’s specially to collapse Ukraine as soon as possible and not to destroy it entirely or to kill its whole able-bodied, not fled, male population. Therefore, Russia needs to ensure, that Ukraine’s and NATO’s logistics collapses by overstretching it. I explained that already in this article.
Well, I mentioned, there are multi-dimensional reasons. The other reason I won’t discuss here, at all. Since it is geopolitical and not militarily. You can read it in my other articles. For example, in the article about the implementation of the new draft framework for European security. See here. Basically and summarized it is about letting the West deplete itself economically and militarily in Ukraine, to trigger a collapse in Europe, to force the Europeans to de-colonialize themselves from the Americans. As I said, details are in the article.
I’ll summarize another few thoughts, that I didn’t want to press into any other chapter.
From my point of view Russia will avoid, as long as possible, to fight in any further major city. Such as Kharkov, Zaporizhzhia and Odessa. These are Russian cities and Russia will do what it can, to preserve these cities and spare them from fighting. Again, that’s why the Ukrainian army will either need to be defeated on favourable ground or the country/military/logistics need to be collapsed.
There is much talk, about why Russia is not destroying logistics infrastructure, even though I constantly talking about collapsing logistics. Well, there are many reasons. As I said, it is favourable, that Ukraine is able, to commit the biggest possible effort, to supply its troops. This is a heavy burden on both, Ukraine and NATO. On the other hand, there will be a time, when Ukrainian defences collapse, when Russia will be able to quickly advance over large distances. Every destroyed piece of infrastructure is another burden at this time. Russia will need bridges and a functioning railways system. It is not about HINDERING logistics, it is about OVERSTRECHTCHING it. Remember my logistics chapter. Finally, Russia surely doesn’t plan to fight this war for years. If the Ukrainian collapse will be concluded within the next twelve months, then it would be fatal, to destroy everything possible, that would need to be rebuild anyway very soon, with Russian wealth.
The big question is, will Russia incorporate the whole territory of the former Ukraine into its composition? Well, I think not. One can’t be sure, but that’s my assumption. Why? I think Russia will annex all territories of the former Ukraine, that are culturally and historically close to Russia. The line will be somewhere west of Kiev. Where? I don’t know. But what will happen to the rest? Well, Russia will first need to take the whole territory of Ukraine, to commit denazification and demilitarization. This process could take either months or years, who knows. Think of the same process in Germany and the succeeding tribunals in Nürnberg. Russia of course will annex, what it needs and it wills to annex, right ahead. The rest will be, at least from my understanding, a newly created state, that will be fully controlled by Moscow. A puppet state. I see a possibility, that Poland could get a piece of Ukraine, after negotiations with Moscow. But certainly, the land corridor to Hungary will be under Russia’s control under any circumstances. This is a geopolitical necessity, to be able to develop and support Hungary and Serbia via land and air. Hungary is a great thorn in the side of NATO, which will contribute to greatly to the de-colonialization of Europe. Serbia is a little Russia and Russia is a big Serbia.
What about the timeframes? Well, I think we will need to look for a “break-even” point. As we learned in my former articles, Russia could theoretically end the war immediately. There are, as we learned as well, for example in this article, multi-dimensional reasons, for NOT doing this. There needs to be a point, where Europe and NATO are enough depleted and invested in its own collapse and the accumulated risk of an accidentally triggered nuclear/world war. As longer as this conflict lasts, as higher are the chances, that due to an accident, or some idiot’s sole decision (e.g., false flag with missiles “S300” from Ukraine to Poland) such a war could be triggered. This needs to be controlled closely and avoided of course. There is one more aspect. From my own point of view the most important one. The suffering of the people, living in Ukraine, without power, heating and water over winter. Since the power system is in the meanwhile largely but not fully down, this gives me an indication, that the end of the war won’t be in a too far away future. Okay, what are my estimations? It won’t help you at all… depending on what scenario, of my mentioned ones, develops, I see a large window of time. Between January 2023 in the best case and December 2023 in the worst case, everything is possible.
Well, everything I wrote about predictions in this article are nothing and void, in case, that Phase 4 or Phase 5 would be triggered before its conclusion. Then everything will change. According to the Black Mountain Phase Classification, Phase 4 would be, if single NATO countries such as Poland and the United States, would intervene in any kind without NATO mandate. Phase 5 would be, if NATO would officially step into this war. This would be definitely the trigger for World War 3.
My last thought is about negotiations. The West always denied negotiations, as long as Ukraine had the means, to defend itself at the beginning. Now, that the end is near, and undoubtedly, everyone knows that, the West is calling for negotiations. What is the logic behind this? Let the Russians suffer as many casualties as possible, spent its resources and everything in Ukraine, let Ukraine take back as much land as possible, and then negotiate a ceasefire and freeze the conflict. Well. I will put it very simple. Not gonna happen.
I can’t write yet about results, since Phase 3 is still ongoing.
But in theory everything will be achieved at the end of Phase 3. Remember what I wrote in the “Annexation” chapter? If Russia loses, the world ends. The activation of the Phases 4 or 5 would exactly lead to this result. That’s why I would argue that the full achievement of the set objectives for the SMO will be achieved in Phase 3.
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Wow good article with alot of good information!!!
Very interesting yet the Russian General Staff do not publish war plans.
Much speculation attends the actions of The Russian Armed Forces.
What seems likely is Russia will now finish this matter of this US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War to weaken Russia and it enters its terminal phase - The Winter Offensive.
Much is made in the Western mainstream of "losing territory".
It is not WWI and territory counts for little during this conflict.
Here, what counts is dead Ukrainian Armed Forces - their complete destruction along with the smaller presence of US-NATO-UK forces brought in to train and operate the more complex weapons systems.
Many have died. Little is said.
In this conflict, God Favours Russia . . . https://les7eb.substack.com/p/ukraine-long-proxy-war-vi-god-favours