The future remains a mystery, an open book that no one can read with certainty. The same can be said about the present and the past; our understanding of them is far from absolute, resulting in diverse interpretations. The future is even more uncertain, especially when considering the ongoing brutal and intimidating conflict we are experiencing now—a battle waged against the united forces of the West.
When it comes to the future, all we can do is formulate hypotheses and devise strategies. These two elements are intrinsically linked. The hypotheses we develop influence our strategies; conversely, the strategies we create can also shape our hypotheses.
There are two main hypotheses:
- Reconciliation is possible, and there are forces in the US (in the West) that are ready to stop Zelensky.
- Reconciliation is impossible until Russia achieves a complete surrender of Kiev and factual control over the entire territory of Ukraine (i.e., fulfils the set goals of demilitarisation and denazification).
Hence the strategies:
- Based on the first hypothesis, our strategy should be to bide our time and strive for negotiations.
- Based on the second hypothesis, we need to prepare for total war to the end, to the limit, to complete victory. Like in the Great Patriotic War. Not necessarily to Berlin or the English Channel, but to Lvov for sure.
If we proceed from the first hypothesis, we create the preconditions for reconciliation. Of course, we fight, but with a nod towards a truce.
If we adopt the second hypothesis, the notion of a truce is disregarded entirely. Our attention is exclusively dedicated to the conduct of war. Any deficiencies preventing us from victory are addressed and rectified. If there are those among us who are unable or unwilling to engage in the fight as required, we replace them. If the attitudes of the elite and wider society stand in the way of victory, we work to transform these attitudes. This could mean changing certain sections of the elite or societal groups. This is because the nature of war demands such actions.
I firmly believe that a truce is unattainable. We may be presented with conditions so severe that accepting them would cause Russia’s entire political system to crumble. This is because the Russian people, especially those who have been deeply affected by the war, losing loved ones and faithfully following Putin into battle, would find such terms unacceptable.
I would entirely dismiss the first hypothesis. It seems improbable from an external perspective and would invariably result in internal system collapse, even if someone externally tries to defy logic and enforce it.
What remains is to operate under the guidance of the second hypothesis. However, this calls for a completely different strategy.
In 2014, the authorities were able to convince us of the existence of a ‘cunning strategy’. However, there was none. What we had instead was poor planning rooted in inaccurate assumptions. At that time, the appropriate course of action should have been to mobilise our troops and advance as far as we could. But we faltered; we put our faith in a truce. We were misled, a fact that even the president himself conceded. The deception continued, and, without a doubt, it will happen again. Intriguingly, there was internal assistance in perpetuating this self-deception. It would be fascinating to discover who was involved…
What we require now is not a ‘cunning strategy’ but a rational and carefully calibrated plan for victory. Every necessary action for its execution, even those measures that might be ‘unpopular’, should be enacted as swiftly as possible. In the context of modern warfare, speed often dictates the outcome. We cannot afford to be swayed by anyone or anything at this juncture. It is definitely not a time to be preoccupied with elections or popularity ratings.
Here is our situation: a truce appears highly improbable, while the likelihood of an all-out war seems almost inevitable. Both these scenarios rule out the continuation of peacetime politics. We have experienced this before but did not fully comprehend the situation.
Therefore, what we need is a champion for victory. Someone who is rational, determined, strong-willed, level-headed, and immune to disinformation and questionable influences. A figure who embodies the Russian spirit.