Staunton, Nov. 28 – Some Russians who believe that Putin’s war in Ukraine is a mistake nonetheless aren’t prepared to challenge him because they believe that regardless of current difficulties Moscow has now choice but to fight on to victory given that Russia is “a great counry and cannot allow itself to lose,” Andrey Cherepanov says.
But in fact, Russia’s looming loss in Ukraine mark a break with the past, the Russian commentator says. Over the last half century and indeed since the end of World War II, he points out, Russia has lost out to its opponents in the three major wars it committed itself to – Afghanistan and in Chechnya twice (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6384C90DEB542).
Even Russians count the first two as losses, but the third was as well, given that Russian forces pulled out allowing Chechnya to be “de facto” independent, a place where Russian laws no longer ran and to which Russian taxpayers have sent enormous sums as reparation or tribute, depending on one’s point of view.
It is entirely possible that Russia will suffer in precisely the same way when its war in Ukraine ends, forced to pay for the damage it has inflicted regardless of what it claims it has achieved and thus putting yet another burden on the Russian people for decades to come, Cherepanov says.
He contrasts Russia’s inability to recognize reality and its unwillingness to pull out of a disaster with that of the US which at least withdrew its forces from Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan “when it became clear that there were no prospects for achieving US goals” and in order not to continue to suffer losses.
According to the Rusisan commentator, “the greatness of the US did not particularly suffer from this. Instead, just the reverse” because this manifestation of intelligence and seriousness led many to respect it even more and its authority around the world to increase. Russia’s failure to pull out of Ukraine now is having exactly the opposite effect for Moscow.
Because that is the case, Cherepanov says, “the sooner Russian forces stop fighting against the inevitable and leave Ukraine, the better it will be for all Russians – except, of course the members of Putin’s criminal clan” for whom such an outcome however good for everyone else will be like death itself.