by Robert M. Traxler
Will the Russians invade Ukraine? In my opinion, yes.
Perhaps not a full-frontal assault unless necessary, but using the 160,000 troops (ground, sea and air) that they have on the border to intimidate Ukraine and the western nations, the Russians will “support” paramilitary units in Ukraine. The Russians have redeployed troops from the Mongolian region of Russia to the border with Ukraine.
History teaches us that in World War II they moved troops from Mongolia west to spearhead the counterattack against the Axis troops in the Grand Offensive. The troops used in the brutal street fighting in Berlin were largely from the Mongolian region. They have been used as assault troops and send a clear signal to NATO that the Russian Federation is prepared to assault Ukraine with overwhelming force if required. Descendants of Genghis Kahn and his Mongolian hordes, they have a centuries-long reputation as excellent soldiers and fearless assault troops.
President Joe Biden has sent confusing signals to President Putin, promising a clear swift response to his invading Ukraine, but not a military response, also that a “minor incursion” is acceptable. He later did an about-face and the media played down his truly dumb statements.
President Putin knows that our president has an aversion to military action; his pulling out of Afghanistan, (yes President Trump attempted to cut and run from Afghanistan, but did not when it could not be done in an acceptable manner) sent a clear signal to the Russian Federation. President Biden was against the assassination of Osama Bin Laden as well; it all goes to his aversion to military action, and President Putin, a former intelligence officer, understands how to read leaders and their actions.
Among the Russian Federation forces on the Ukrainian border are their first line armored units with the excellent T-90 Main Battle Tank, backed up by the up-dated MI-28NM, attack helicopter NATO code named Havoc. Add in the BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carrier, 17,000 Spetsnaz the Russian special operations troops, under the direct command and control of the intelligence agencies, and Ukraine is out gunned and out classed in the battle area.
As in Syria, President Putin will use irregular Russian and Spetsnaz troops, under the control of the former KGB now called the FSB, Federal Security Service. FSB troops working with the Russian expatriates in Ukraine will carry the battle and if they fail, the Russians will commit additional forces as necessary to ensure a successful invasion.
A bit more history. The Ukrainians resisted the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, refusing to surrender private ownership of small farms to the State, fighting tenaciously until crushed. Collective farming included Commissars from the Russian cities controlling production of grain and seizing all grain from farmers, resulting in the starvation deaths of 3.9 million people or 13% of the population of Ukraine.
Ukraine was and is known as the breadbasket of Europe, but all crops were confiscated, resulting in mass starvation. It is not surprising that Ukraine sided mostly with the Axis forces in WWII against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and that bad blood still exists between most Russians and Ukrainians.
I do not envy President Biden; he has only bad options, but he has himself to blame. Putin took the Crimean Peninsula when Biden was vice president, and only token action was taken, like supplying the Ukrainian forces with plane loads of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) and tents, along with some minor economic sanctions. That must have terrified the Russians. Also, the President’s son and brother are linked to influence peddling in Ukraine; if he acts, a few very few in the media will mention this.
The United States has sent some small arms munitions and anti-tank ordnance to Ukraine, as Germany is blocking other NATO nations from sending defensive arms — Germany, which is now economically dependent on the Russians.
President Putin has NATO by the male reproductive organs after the opening of the Nord Stream pipelines. Europe in general and Germany in particular are dependent on Russia for basic life-sustaining assets. Putin is the OPEC of Natural Gas, and as OPEC controlled the world’s economy, Putin controls western Europe’s. My opinion.