Why does Moscow absolutely not want Kiev to receive tanks, planes and anti-missile systems? Let us try to understand the reason for an opposition that is not only political and does not aim only at "winning easier".
The troops engaged in the war of aggression against Ukraine, which now only Russia and its closest "clients" call a "special military operation", are fighting on a front of 2.500 kilometers:
► From the mouth of the southern Ben to that of the Don, having the Crimea, Donetsk and Rostov-on-Don as departure hubs and aiming for the south-eastern part of Ukraine
► From Luhans'k to Sumy oblast, with the central-southern military districts of the Russian Federation behind it and focusing mainly on Kharkiv and Sumy oblasts
► From Katerynivka to the Belarusian border and then to the "radio-ecological" - that is, contaminated - park of Palieski - within the territory of Belarus - with Belarus itself and the central-northern Russian military districts behind it and focusing on Chernihiv and Kiev.
To understand each other, the only comparison for such an extensive front is that between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1941 and 1945. On that front however, Hitler and Stalin deployed (annually) from over 6 million of men in uniform from the first year to over 11 million of the penultimate.
Having said that and before proceeding, the first of a series of questions must be:
But some "analysts" of the Russian-Ukrainian war have ever thought of measuring the front on which Putin has moved - including the Donbass fighters, Wagner and "volunteers" from the Middle East and the Caucasus - around 250.000 men since the 24th. February?
We are talking about a hundred men for every kilometer in front. A pittance. If the Russian Federation also decided to mobilize its entire reserves, these would be equal in number to those that Ukraine could even more easily deploy.
But isn't it true that Russia already occupies a fifth of Ukraine?
If you look closely at the map, Ukraine has jumped back, from the point of view of territorial control, to just where the Russian lines could have stretched madly: the distance between bases with supplies - and hospitals. military - and the front of the Russian advance in some places exceeds 200 kilometers. Considering the chronic "bulimia" of fuel, spare parts and food of the Russian forces and the ability of Ukrainians to strike them from the sky - and beyond - every kilometer of advance costs a fortune in terms of vehicles left dry, soldiers who they suffer from the cold and hunger and, last but not least, the morale of the Russian fighters. It is no coincidence that the Moscow generals have to expose themselves to the shooting of the Ukrainians to hold off and lead the troops on the front line.
What about the distance between the fighting sites and Russian medical assistance? If you take more than an hour to carry an injured person from the ground to the operating table, you will need to deliver them to the morgue upon arrival. Ultimately, the Russians often hit hospitals to try to take away from the "enemy" the exceptional advantage of fighting with doctors and nurses ready behind them?
What about the Donbass? Nobody talks about it anymore.
And yet, where the Russians theoretically have at least 50.000 well-tempered men from eight years of war, they have not taken a step forward. Since February 24 they have been nailed to their positions for a simple reason: they face a force equal to a quarter or perhaps a third of the Ukrainian troops that can drive them back - or worse - if they just stick their noses out. But they are not attacked precisely because the balance, up to now, has agreed to both.
On the eve of the war, the newspapers spoke of the danger of an "encirclement" and the consequent "bagging" of this "Ukrainian hammer" in front of the Donbass. Why has none of this happened?
Apart from the fact that Moscow has dispersed its forces on a very wide front, even someone who has never attended the school of war understands that to surround them you must have reliable, agile and quick means to move quickly in several directions to squeeze the Ukrainians in the vice. The Russians have none of this: even their most modern wagons seem fragile, bolstered and fuel-hungry, unsuitable for fast maneuvering in the absence of a rail network. The dismantling of rails and tracks proved to be one of the most important steps of the Ukrainians: allowing them to do so, one of the most decisive mistakes for the Russians.
Doesn't Moscow have the best tanks and artillery in the world?
But the Ukrainians know their territory (and know how to move), they have received excellent anti-tank weapons and have the advantage of having the civilian population deployed compactly alongside the resisters. The Russians have collected only hatred, opposition and resentment: the interceptions of communications between the commands and the troops of Moscow, all analogue and discovered, do nothing but paint a picture of disappointment due to the welcome from enemies rather than as liberators . The fact that Ukrainian propaganda casts on this is an aggravating circumstance, not an excuse. Finally, the Russians often have very well-designed vehicles, but produced loosely and with poor materials.
Yes, but Mariupol is about to fall. Or not?
Maybe yes maybe no. There do not appear to be more than 20.000 Russian troops - plus a few "volunteers" - deployed on the outskirts, in some less defensible neighborhoods and around the city. But with around 5 defenders - including 3 from the infamous Azov battalion, who can only fight and have no hope of salvation - in addition to 160.000 inhabitants still present, mostly adult men, the scenario is not one of imminent fall, even if anything can happen . As I said in a previous article, in the rubble you defend better and the tanks do not advance easily.
That said, it doesn't seem like the perfect scenario for the Russians to do nonsense, like using chemical or nuclear weapons?
Do you really believe that the military and political leaders of the Russian Federation want to start a nuclear war for… the Donbass? They too do not cease to say that they are ready to use it only for the survival of the Russian Federation.
The nuclear threat launched to the world on February 27 is not the first step towards escalation, but the last: at this point either the Kremlin lord is willing to destroy the world or he has played his last good cards too soon. In case of a nuclear attack he would have the First Strike, as an opportunity, but hardly the second. And the hypothesis that he wants to play the First Strike, which since the times of the Soviets Moscow has always been held as a choice, in terms of a geographically limited attack is almost certain and that he wants to hit the whole free world first is nonsense, also because he would be the first victim of the immediate counterattack. Let us not forget, in fact, that in such a scenario Russia should hit the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Turkey, while Washington and its allies… only Russia.
So why do the Russians get the urge that Ukrainians are stocked with planes, anti-missile systems and other amenities?
But it is consequential to what has been said so far: the Russians can hope to wear down Ukraine in a long war under current conditions, but if Kiev receives the tools to shoot down more missiles and also to strike from the sky more effectively and deeply, for Moscow Sara game over. And even if they launched the Belarusians, all the Chechen militiamen, the 16 Syrian "volunteers" and all their best reserves on Ukraine, in the presence of these tools they would have the same effect as the Russo-Japanese war: the destruction of two forces instead of of only one.
Ultimately, for the writer Putin has already lost. Sooner or later, he will have to negotiate with his own collaborators the conditions for his withdrawal from the scene.
Photo: MoD Ukraine