Russian Bear VS Army Ants

They’ll keep on coming and coming and coming…

The media tells us that Russia is massing troops to secure most of the Donbas, then extend control from Mariupol all the way along the Black Sea to Transnistria. What’s forgotten is that it doesn’t matter if Russia is able to accomplish those goals (I doubt it can).

Let’s go back to the beginning.

Assumption #1

In February, 2022, Russia masses troops along Ukraine’s border. The U.S. warns that Russia will attack. However, most military experts argue that Russia does not have a large enough military to control all of Ukraine and Russia doesn’t have enough men to take control of the large cities through urban fighting.

The experts are proven correct.

Russia’s Plan A

Analysts reason that Russia believes it could force Zelensky’s government into fleeing and get enough Ukrainians to support Russia in de-militarizing the country. Neither happened.

Experts wrong.

So we’re back to assumption #1. Russia cannot hold all of Ukraine and it cannot bring cities like Kyiv into submission.

Russia’s Plan B

Realizing the above, Russia works on weakening support for Zelensky’s government. It does this by bombing small cities into dust. It rounds up potential civilian troublemakers and executes them. Russia hopes to make the civilian and economic cost of war so high that all parties agree to Russia’s terms which are the formal annexation of Crimea and Donbas. Ukraine would also need to demilitarize.

If the media were to report this matter-of-factly the West would become polarized by those who want to go to war with Russia and those who don’t.

If Russia can take control of the entire East and Southern borders of Ukraine it is possible that the West may agree to Russia’s terms. It’s also possible that a low-yield nuclear bomb might get the West to accept a peace deal on Russia’s terms.

Anyway, from the Russian perspective the “special operation” did not go to plan but remains salvageable. Russia has occupied a fair amount of territory. It is continuing to destroy Ukraine’s economy and stressing Europe’s through refugees. The Russian population is not rioting in the street of Moscow or St Petersburg. The Ruble is not heading into hyperinflation. In general, the Russian Federation is holding together.

The West’s Plan A

I’m defining the “West” here as the United States and liberal democracies who share similar values — free press, strong legal system, co-economic development.

The West does not care about the sovereignty of Ukraine (or any other nation). At the beginning of the invasion it categorically said it would not step in to defend Ukraine. Some call the U.S. the “Policeman of the World”, but that has never been explicit U.S. policy.

The West was prepared to accept Russia’s effective annexation of Ukraine but it would make Russia pay for it through “the most severe sanctions that have ever been imposed”.

What the U.S was not prepared for was a Ukraine that knocked Russia to the canvas.

The West believes autocracies like Russia and China are evil. It believes such forms of government are dangerous and prone to start wars. Un-ironically, the autocracies feel the same about the West. Either way, the West will try to weaken any autocracy that challenges its interests, whether those interests be women’s rights or business contracts.

No one cares about the Zelensky government in Ukraine. Not Russia. Not the U.S. No one. For the Western press it makes for a good story, but in realpolitik terms has no bearing on the outcome of the conflict.

In other words, I don’t want to romanticize an Ukrainian victory. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians will pay for it.

Ukraine’s Plan A

Ukraine wants to expel Russia from all of Ukraine, including Crimea (which most believe a stretch). Ukraine does not have any interest in a Plan B.

If the press were to report this matter-of-factly there would be a nasty conflict between those who want to stop arming Ukraine (for fear of WW III) and those who want to give them the latest weapons system.


If you disagree with the above, please let me know. Now, onto the fun part for me — pure speculation.

Russia incorrectly views the U.S as a monolithic war machine intent on hegemony. It’s quite the opposite, in my view. Unlike Russia, the U.S. never had 5-year plans, or any real plans beyond the length of a news-cycle. There might as well be an infinite number of special interests, all trying to gain advantage. I call them rackets. Everyone has their racket. I make my living in the software and financial services rackets.

Unless you physically try to harm someone you’re free to run any racket you choose in the United States. If you’re violent, or operate in businesses that lead to violence (like drugs), well, we don’t have the largest prisons on Earth for nothing. But if you’re just trying to cheat someone out of their money within the rules, or not too far outside them, then this is the culture for you.

Only in such systems of anarchy can you get a well-read President like Barrack Obama, of the righteous rackets, and in the next election, out of nowhere, an illiterate narcissist master of the seedy rackets. Yet both Obama and Trump represent the same Western mindset.

Compete tooth and nail, but organized violence will not be tolerated except in sports.

Russia looks at the West as a swarm of random ants who are easily scattered by a stomping foot. Or in the case of a scorpion, a deadly jaw. Russia scattered the Western ants during Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, the Donbas and Crimea.

When Russia invaded Ukraine groups of Ukrainian ants attacked Russia’s paw and down Russia went. It has been trying to get up ever since.

Two months into the Ukrainian invasion and the Western ants, from the world over, have joined the war in such numbers that Russia can’t simply shake them off. The ants are biting everywhere.

The ants were coordinated by the Biden administration in the beginning, but now have a mind of their own. Each ant, each racket, will take a piece of Russia.

Putin, like many people, doesn’t understand that the U.S. is both the least tolerant of peoples when it comes to political violence but also the most violent when aggravated.

Many Russian abroad will take their piece too. Ukraine will become a new Israel.

President Biden could tell the U.S. defense industry to stop arming Ukraine tomorrow but Raytheon, at this point, would find a way to make money sending missiles to Ukraine. That column of ants is in motion and it will be difficult to shut down. That’s the super irony! Getting around sanctions isn’t only Russia’s game! Everyone who wants a piece of Russia from the West will get around them too.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store