February 24th, 2022.
The Russian Invasion of Ukraine.
On February 24th, days after the Russian Federation announced it’s formal recognition of the self-declared republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, the Russian military began a large scale bombardment of Ukrainian military facilities and Russian troops began to enter the Ukraine from the east, south and north.
The precise goal remains unclear, however the operation is clearly on a far larger scale than what could be justified by the goal of protecting the people of the self-declared republics and resembles more the first steps in a regime change operation.
Announcing the operation the Russian President stated that the goals of the operation were to “demilitarise and de-Nazify” the Ukraine, the President also threatened to use extreme force against any third party seeking to intervene in what appears to be a thinly veiled threat of total war.
“No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken. I hope that my words will be heard.”
The President of Ukraine has declared martial law, the roads around the Ukrainian capital are choked with people fleeing.
Roads leading out of Kiev jammed by long lines
Western nations, who had already imposed fresh sanctions upon Russia and suspended the Nordstream 2 energy pipeline in response to the Russian recognition of the Donbass Republics reacted with fury and the promise of much harsher sanctions.
At this time however, it seems that there is nothing tangible that any of the parties opposed to the Russian actions can do to derail this operation or stymie Russia’s ambitions in Ukraine.
How far will they go?
The idea of the Russian military taking the Ukrainian capital by force remains ludicrous, but before today the idea of the Russian military moving beyond the territory controlled by the breakaway republics seemed ludicrous also, but they have done it.
Russia has characterised the operation as a defensive measure aimed at protecting the people of the Donbass, but the scope of the targets that Russia is destroying and the places they are attacking make this claim unsustainable.
Russian sources are claiming that the Russian military have destroyed all Ukrainian air defenses and the entire Ukraine navy.
There is simply no need to destroy every Ukrainian military installation in order to protect the people of the Donbass.
Russia at the brink of Imperial overreach?
This operation will undoubtedly succeed in the short to medium term. Russia versus Ukraine is of the same character as the United States versus Iraq, but Russia’s ability to impose a political solution upon the Ukraine by the use of force remains highly questionable.
If Russia seeks to topple the government of Ukraine and replace it with leadership that serves their interests they will almost certainly fail, just as the West has repeatedly failed to translate military dominance into political control-because politicians who co-operate with a conquering power will be irretrievably tainted in the eyes of the people due to their very collaboration with the occupying power.
Russia-Ukraine crisis: Putin orders military operation in Ukraine