Why Mariupol, like Sagunto, must not fall and why this is already the third world war

(To David Rossi)

A part of Western leaders and public opinion is almost cheering on the Russian forces that converged on Mariupol from Donbass and Crimea and closed it off by land. They argue that once Crimea is united with Donbass, passing through Kherson, Enerhogar and Mariupol itself, Vladimir Putin's "madness" will turn into willingness to negotiate, because there would be an ounce of military glory to be smuggled into Russia, and ultimately the forces of the Russian Federation cannot take the other major cities of Ukraine in the same way, namely by massively converging on two or three sides by means of the hunger and terror.

This theory is not only false, it plays the game of the Kremlin.

Let's try, in a nutshell, to understand why the fall of Mariupol is absolutely not desirable:

  1. It is not certain that Moscow will really be "satisfied". Who can guarantee that Putin will not use Mariupol's "dividend" to motivate the forces currently engaged and to recall hundreds of thousands of reservists from deep Russia to strengthen the attack on Kiev, Kharkiv, Odessa, Sumy and other cities where the Have Russians been rejected so far?

  2. We are certain that Moscow will have its hands free for other fronts. With Ukraine's southeastern front secured, what sense would it make not to shift the forces currently engaged around Mariupol to the southwest and north to launch a more robust attack on Odessa and Kharkiv, not to mention Dnipro?

  3. We are certain that the Russians would be more motivated. The fall of Mariupol could only come about through the annihilation of the disputed Azov Battalion, whose paramilitary troops often panic among the Moscow forces and which, once destroyed, would constitute a further driving force for the Kremlin's propaganda about the possibility of " denazify ”Ukraine.

  4. Russian logistics would benefit. Just look at the map: with southeastern Ukraine secured, Moscow will have an open highway to the rest of the country. Whether he will be able to actually take advantage of it is debatable.

  5. There is a real risk of ethnic cleansing. Whether the inhabitants of Mariupol move west or are driven out by the Russians to the east, the local population will be exposed to Putin's ruthless revenge against these Russian speakers who have not bowed to his ambitions and theories.

  6. Mariupol, as it stands, contradicts Putin's theories. A city with an overwhelming majority of Russian language and culture that does not want to yield to the invaders "self-styled liberators" but wants to remain embedded in Ukraine: all this clashes with Putin's idea of ​​the "Three Russias". Once Mariupol is taken, it would not be impossible to turn a pile of rubble into a symbol of "Russian pride".

  7. Mariupol, as it stands, causes the Russian forces to bleed. It is undeniable that until Mariupol is completely tamed, i.e. emptied of its inhabitants and razed to the ground with its defenders inside, Russia will have to pump men and vehicles into this black hole, with incessant damage to the morale of its soldiers, to equipment. and supplies.

  8. It would be the first major city to fall. Kherson was difficult to defend and it was known from the start: Mykolaiv is easier to hold for Ukrainian forces, resting as it is off the long and wide course of the Southern Bug River. Melitopol and Enerhodar are placed like Kherson, in a plain with no support for defense. The fall of Mariupol, with its well-defended access to the sea and the access routes for forced invaders would be a bad sign for Zaporizia and Odessa.

  9. The Tsar has become obsessed: he wants it all. Who told dreamers that Putin will be satisfied? Not a day goes by without him or his ministers confirming that Moscow wants all of Ukraine, from the Don to Transcarpathia. Those who think differently give credit to their illusions.

Ultimately, by qualifying the sanctions as an act of war, Putin transformed this phase of the conflict into the "strange war" that was fought in Europe between Germany and the Anglo-French between September 1939 and May 1940, with the war operations present. only in Poland, in Finland and in the Baltic, and Berlin engaged only in frowning at Paris and London. Mariupol commits Putin and contradicts his theories: therefore, like and more than the rest of Ukraine, it shields the ambitions of the new tsar.

How did it turn out? The Germans reserved the First Strike, sudden and devastating end of the "strange war", after which they defeated France and drove the British back across the Channel.

For those who still had hopes, I say it loudly: this one it is already the Third World War, the Russian leadership has declared it openly and, unless the Russian people and elites take courage against the tirano, things will only precipitate into a frightening conflict. Please, do not be under any illusions and hope that Mariupol will hold on: it is the Stalingrad of 2022.