I recently ran an article here which suggested that Russia was no longer a world power, at least from a conventional military standpoint.

There’s been a fair amount of conversation on that point, particularly given the blatantly obvious fact that Russia is never going to be able to hold on to the territories it’s taken from the Ukraine. The best that Putin can hope for at this point is a standoff.

Enter this discussion,

a website which I have never heard of before … Called The institute for the study of war. Glenn Reynolds mentioned it and extensively quoted it.

I’ll post the quote in its entirety here:

The Russian defeat in Kharkiv Oblast and Lyman, combined with the Kremlin’s failure to conduct partial mobilization effectively and fairly are fundamentally changing the Russian information space. Kremlin-sponsored media and Russian milbloggers – a prominent Telegram community composed of Russian war correspondents, former proxy officials, and nationalists – are grieving the loss of Lyman while simultaneously criticizing the bureaucratic failures of the partial mobilization.[1] Kremlin sources and milbloggers are attributing the defeat around Lyman and Kharkiv Oblast to Russian military failures to properly supply and reinforce Russian forces in northern Donbas and complaining about the lack of transparency regarding the progress of the war.[2]

Some guests on heavily-edited Kremlin television programs that aired on October 1 even criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex four Ukrainian oblasts before securing their administrative borders or even the frontline, expressing doubts about Russia’s ability ever to occupy the entirety of these territories.[3] Kremlin propagandists no longer conceal their disappointment in the conduct of the partial mobilization, frequently discussing the illegal mobilization of some men and noting issues such as alcoholism among newly mobilized forces.[4] Some speaking on live television have expressed the concern that mobilization will not generate the force necessary to regain the initiative on the battlefield, given the poor quality of Russian reserves.[5]

The Russian information space has significantly deviated from the narratives preferred by the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) that things are generally under control. . . . Putin relies on controlling the information space in Russia to safeguard his regime much more than on the kind of massive oppression apparatus the Soviet Union used, making disorder in the information space potentially even more dangerous to Putin than it was to the Soviets.


There are several points that arise from this.

* It has become perfectly clear that Russia cannot hold on to the territories that it’s taken in the Ukraine with its military in the condition that it’s in. Yes there’s the threat of Putin using what he’s got left of his nuclear arsenal. Trouble for him is that that’s suicidal on two fronts.

First, there would certainly be a nuclear response which would assuredly obliterate Moscow, and Putin all along with it. Putin is a lot of things, but he’s not that much of an idiot. So his response to the situation is limited to conventional armed forces.

Secondly there would be a follow-on attack from ground forces on what remained of Russia. If the Russian military in its current state can’t hold on to the territory that it’s taken from the Ukraine… A country that has a military that is at least somewhat questionable, he must know that he’s not going to be able to defeat ground forces from the remaining military force in the world which would surely be Mass against him was he stupid enough to launch such missiles… And by the way, that’s with his military in the current shape it’s in, bad as that is. Imagine the state of his military after a nuclear attack. I think we both know that’s going nowhere.

I don’t consider him going with the nuclear option to be very likely. He knows he’s not going to get anything out of it.

* The indications are that if he continues on this course Putin is in serious trouble at home. Not that the idea of throwing an election bothers him much, but if you’re living in a nation of 146 million people who want to drill a couple of holes into you, eventually one of them is going to succeed. Again, Putin is no idiot. He understands this very well which is why he spends most of his time hiding these days. But it ain’t going to last. Eventually, the ill will toward him from both inside and outside Russia is going to catch up to him. Or as Waylon Jennings used to sing, “Ain’t living long like this.”

That’s assuming he doesn’t withdraw. It’s possible but I don’t consider it very likely. I also don’t consider a negotiated piece to be very likely a long-term solution. And negotiated pieces precisely how we got into this mess in the first place, so I don’t consider it very advantageous either.

So how does this play out in the end? Sometime within the next two years I would guess. The reason is simple enough, as I suggested once before it’s no accident that Vladimir Putin waited until Joe Biden was in the White House to make his move on the Ukraine. He knew that Joe Biden wouldn’t react. With a political tides here in the US swinging hard right… (thank God)… He’s going to have to make some kind of a move one way or the other before such people attain office here in the West.

And finally, as Glenn observes, it’s interesting that the Russian regime is getting more pushback from the Russian press then the regime here in the States is from our supposedly mainstream media. As the website Glenn quotes observes, Putin depends heavily on controlling the message that the media is sending out. Sound familiar?