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* Ukraine VI: War Sustainability & Possible Outcomes

A Closer Look at the Probable and Possible Outcomes of the Russo-Ukrainian War

April 4, 2022 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz

nyc things to do nyc things to do this weekend nycIn Part VI, we're going to zoom into the current situation, looking at their wars are being financed, recent politics in both Russia and Ukraine, and popular support for the war in each nation.

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. IT IS EXPECTED TO BE FINISHED BY SOMETIME NEXT WEEK.

A Little More History

The Cossacks were legendary fighters. The name trouble w/ authority so headed to the steppes.

Russia Relations - include Catherine II and Potemkin Village -
Two premiers, Nikita Kruschev and Leonid Brezhnev, were Ukrainians. And both of them helped moved the Soviet Union toward a less autocratic repressive regime.

Industry & Natural Resources

Natural gas, wheat, corn, fertilizer and the Black Sea / Azov.
They are a country rich in natural resources including coal, iron and steel, natural gas and oil (?).
They have x number of nuke plants. They became a technology and weapons sector during Soviet times in the 1980's.

There's a natural gas pipeline that flows through the Ukraine that provides a good part of Europe with its energy. It's still flowing as it also provides Russia with a significant amount of its reserves.

Languages and ethnicity is mixed. Borders fluctuated with the Poles in the west and the Russians in the east.

Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. Ironically the eastern section of the nation is where Russian is based and they voted to go west toward Europe. The western, Ukrainian / Polish part leaned toward Russia. There's enough of an ethnic and language mix there to defy easy categorizations, so beware.
Lang map.

The cities are predominantly in the east along the Dnieper River, Black Sea, Sea of Azov and the Russian border. That's also. where the industries and technology are. The western half of the nation is largely agrarian.


Recent Politics in Ukraine

Since breaking with the Soviet Union there's been a tug and pull going on as they try to choose going east or west. The first guy was pretty balanced, striking some deals. The second guy was allegedly corrupt and was thrown out before fleeing to Russia. The third guy started moving Ukraine west with help from a competitor who had lost to the russian leaning guy's victory because a cohort ran against her and siphoned off enough of the vote.

Current Politics in Ukraine

The eastern Ukraine has largely been war torn. The western Ukraine and southwestern Ukraine, including Odessa, has largely been untouched. It's unclear what kind of GDP Ukraine will have given the war. They're being propped up by their allies.

General - Russian Economy & People

Russia also has problems. The ruble dropped and recovered because trading was limited. So you have a currency that's recovered but you can't use it so what's the difference? And eventually it is expected to drop again. By how much will be determined by how the war plays out.

Russian Military / Logistics Failures

Russia continues to have trouble with its logistics. Food and fuel and possibly weapons now. As mentioned a week ago, in our last report, that is possibly why the general halt in the war. Russia has run out of ammo. They retreated from the outskirts of Kyiv, probably to avoid a complete rout. And the Russians are said to be regrouping around the two breakaway provinces they're backing Donetsk and Luhansk.

Trade with Russian and the West

Western shipments into Russia have reportedly slowed to a trickle (??). This means while ordinary Russians ran the banks at the beginning of the war, and are said to be drawing down store inventories now, as the future seems uncertain.

Media - Free Speech in Russia

Protests have mostly dried up because of the harsh, Stalinist era threats made by Putin toward his own people. Calling them traitors and scum for speaking out against the dictator's war to glorify himself like Hitler did.

Putin Threats nukes bios & scum to russian people / russians realizations & protests / Stalin

Access to Technology by Russia

Many of the semiconductor manufacturing nations, like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, joined the U.S. in embargoing certain semiconductor chips to Russia. This may impact their automotive, communications and computer industries. It is believed that Russia makes most of the chips used in its weapons, but possibly doesn't have the sophistication to produce the chips used in guided missile systems, which is why it has been using dumb bombs - like those used in WWII where you drop it and when it hits earth it explodes.

Russia hasn't yet panicked on the currency front, but it is trying to prop up the Ruble by forcing countries to buy its oil and gas products in Rubles, which western democracies have said they will not do per contracts. Russia backed off ... for now.

Food Access in Russia

Russia is a large producer of foods like corn, wheat and other food stuffs. They reportedly import about as much as they export. The imports include things not generally grown in Russia like certain fruits and nuts. The exports include grains, most notably wheat. The Russian diet is going to change and it's not going to be for the better.

Russian Ruble / Currency - Potemkin Putin's Ruble like his Army

The blockade on the ruble and limited access to the SWIFT banking system, and the semiconductor technology boycott - China excepted [although they are reportedly facing a supply shortage of their own] - are likely to make life in Russia challenging over the coming year(s). The loss of western company jobs, access to western stores and branded goods, and the loss of access to western online resources, will also plague the Putin regime's popularity.

While the Ruble is down 13%, on limited trading versus a plummet to 50% of its value immediately after the sanctions were announced. The Moscow Exchange, Russia's stock market, it down about 20%, as investors gauge the viability of peace talks. I think we're at least six months away from anything, and more likely years. But that's only a guess.

Western European and other NATO / U.S. allies are working to disconnect themselves from Russian gas and oil, which would further cut off Russia from the world economy and create out of stocks on many of the products to which Russians have become accustomed. Also, with the loss of independent media and western media presences, Russians will be kept in a black box, where the only information Russians get will come from state filtered media outlets.

 

CHINA / INDIA - Changing Global Politics - the QUAD

CHINA is a big question mark. They might be able to fill in a lot of what missing in Putin's game plan, but would they do this with rubles or Russian oil. This is where the U.S. must work with the multi-nationals that produce / do business in China to control what gets sold to Russia. And this is where the opening up of trade and currency with China was so very flawed as it prioritized the profit potential over the human potential - leaving China's social and political development to lag so far behind its economic development that it is now controlled by a dictator-president like Putin.

But if China tries to fill in the breach it could fail and fail miserably. The question is how resolute will western and eastern democracies stand [including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan] as I now see a potentially protracted war unless the Ukrainians press for the advantage that should weigh in their favor.

 

What I Hope to See Leading into Realistic Peace Negotiations

The Ukrainians have or can obtain the weapons they need to take out the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, bomb the bridge that connects the Crimea to Russia, take out the oil port and / or installation at Novoryssk in Russia and Putin's Palace just south of there at Gelendesk [this would be for spite]. These actions would destroy a good part of the Russian military capability, and deprive Russia of much needed oil revenue [Black Sea output], and push the Russians out of the Ukrainian lands in the south including the Crimea, leaving the last pitched battles to occur in the east at Donetsk and Luhansk.

Some more anti-aircraft weapons, air craft, and perhaps some black market cruise missiles or torpedoes might be needed to take out the Russian fleet sitting in the Black Sea. All of this would seem justified by what Putin's Russian army has already done.

And all of that is doable with the right skills, determination and weapons. The Black Sea is a warm water body of water and the summer is a coming. And the Ukrainians have the home field advantage knowing the terrain, as well as high morale as these men and women are defending their homes, while the Russian aggressors have either been conscripted or are working for money. Life versus money? That seems an easy choice.

This is while Putin drafts 135,000 new Russian recruits to fight his war to glorify himself. At a rally in Moscow Putin lied to the crowd when he said the soldiers were fighting for each other. But like all propaganda, that was a self serving narrative / lie to distract the Russian people from the truth, which is that the Russian soldiers' lives are being sacrificed by a soulless dictator - Vladimir Putin - who hopes to glorify himself as Putin the great.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

I'm happy to see the Biden Administration playing coy with details of what it's doing to help Ukraine, as evidenced when the President rebuked a Fox News reporter who had drawn all kinds of erroneous conclusions on his own, devoid of the facts. But no surprise there, as that's what Fox News 'reporters' always seems to do.

I was also delighted to see the Ukrainians play coy with whether they destroyed an oil depot on Russian soil. For my money, the Ukrainians have been great fighters, but in their pride, they appear to be too transparent about how they've been able to do what they've done - like targeting Russian generals because they used unsecured phones, or having the Russian generals go to the front lines to see why their lines aren't moving, or talking about the efficacy of the Allies / Ukrainian supply lines, because after those reports, Putin's army started sending missiles to western Ukrainian destinations to disrupt them.

That's the kind of info, were I involved in this war, that I'd save making public until after the war had been won. In WWI they used to say, "Loose lips sink ships" which meant that if the Germans knew when supplies were headed across the Atlantic, they would sink the ship, regardless of the human toll. One need only replace German with Russian and replace ships with trucks, trains and planes into the Ukraine.

 

War of Wills - War of Attrition is a No Brainer - Potemkin Putin is No Genius, but Neither is Donald Trump

The NATO economies represent about 50% of the world's output. If you add Japan [5%], South Korea [2%], Taiwan [rounds to 0.5%] and Australia [1.5%] to that total, you get close to 60% of the world economy. Russia is the size of Australia [1.5%], so on its own Russia cannot win. And even with Chinese support, as China represents about 18% of the world economy, the Chinese cannot make Russia's war in Ukraine more viable, without at the very least - hindering, if not crippling - China's own development.

CHART

Will Courage, Honor & Right Lead to Victory? Let's Hope So ...

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just one step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, [and] discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”

And Abraham Lincoln, in his 1860 Cooper Union Address [I've updated / edited], said,

"... Let us hope that right makes might..."

which is the exact opposite of what totalitarian regimes stand for which that might makes right.

This will be updated and graphics added [as well as to the preceding report in this series] in the days to come.

Thanks for taking the time to inform yourself and your country[wo]men.

Have a nice week.








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