Two Years After the Start of the SMO, the West Is Totally Paralyzed

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by Pepe Escobar, The Unz Review:

Exactly two years ago this Saturday, on February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin announced the launching – and described the objectives – of a Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. That was the inevitable follow-up to what happened three days before, on February 21 – exactly 8 years after Maidan 2014 in Kiev – when Putin officially recognized the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

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During this – pregnant with meaning – short space of only three days, everyone expected that the Russian Armed Forces would intervene, militarily, to end the massive bombing and shelling that had been going on for three weeks across the frontline – which even forced the Kremlin to evacuate populations at risk to Russia. Russian intel had conclusive proof that the NATO-backed Kiev forces were ready to execute an ethnic cleansing of Russophone Donbass.

February 24, 2022 was the day that changed 21st century geopolitics forever, in several complex ways. Above all, it marked the beginning of a vicious, all-out confrontation, “military-technical” as the Russians call it, between the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder, its easily pliable NATOstan vassals, and Russia – with Ukraine as the battleground.

There is hardly any question Putin had calculated, before and during these three fateful days, that his decisions would unleash the unbounded fury of the collective West – complete with a tsunami of sanctions.

Ay, there’s the rub; it’s all about Sovereignty. And a true sovereign power simply cannot live under permanent threats. It’s even feasible that Putin had wanted (italics mine) Russia to get sanctioned to death. After all, Russia is so naturally wealthy that without a serious challenge from abroad, the temptation is enormous to live off its rents while importing what it could easily produce.

Exceptionalists always gloated that Russia is “a gas station with nuclear weapons”. That’s ridiculous. Oil and gas, in Russia, account for roughly 15% of GDP, 30% of the government budget, and 45% of exports. Oil and gas add power to the Russian economy – not a drag. Putin shaking Russia’s complacency generated a gas station producing everything it needs, complete with unrivalled nuclear and hypersonic weapons. Beat that.

Ukraine has “never been less than a nation”

Xavier Moreau is a French politico-strategic analyst based in Russia for 24 years now. Graduated from the prestigious Saint-Cyr military academy and with a Sorbonne diploma, he hosts two shows on RT France.

His latest book, Ukraine: Pourquoi La Russie a Gagné (“Ukraine: Why Russia has Won”), just out, is an essential manual for European audiences on the realities of the war, not those childish fantasies concocted across the NATOstan sphere by instant “experts” with less than zero combined arms military experience.

Moreau makes it very clear what every impartial, realist analyst was aware of from the beginning: the devastating Russian military superiority, which would condition the endgame. The problem, still, is how this endgame – “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine, as established by Moscow – will be achieved.

What is already clear is that “demilitarization”, of Ukraine and NATO, is a howling success that no new wunderwaffen – like F-16s – will be able to change.

Moreau perfectly understands how Ukraine, nearly 10 years after Maidan, is not a nation; “and has never been less than a nation”. It’s a territory where populations that everything separates are jumbled up. Moreover, it has been a – “grotesque” – failed state ever since its independence. Moreau spends several highly entertaining pages going through the corruption grotesquerie in Ukraine, under a regime that “gets its ideological references simultaneously via admirers of Stepan Bandera and Lady Gaga.”

None of the above, of course, is reported by oligarch-controlled European mainstream media.

Watch out for Deng Xiao Putin

The book offers an extremely helpful analysis of those deranged Polish elites who bear “a heavy responsibility in the strategic catastrophe that awaits Washington and Brussels in Ukraine”. The Poles actually believed that Russia would crumble from the inside, complete with a color revolution against Putin. That barely qualifies as Brzezinski on crack.

Moreau shows how 2022 was the year when NATOstan, especially the Anglo-Saxons – historically racist Russophobes – were self-convinced thar Russia would fold because it is a “poor power”. Obviously, none of these luminaries understood how Putin strengthened the Russian economy very much like Deng Xiaoping on the Chinese economy. This “self-intoxication”, as Moreau qualifies it, did wonders for the Kremlin.

By now it’s clear even for the deaf, dumb, and blind that the destruction of the European economy has been a massive tactic, historic victory for the Hegemon – as much as the blitzkrieg against the Russian economy has been an abysmal failure.

All of the above brings us to the meeting of G20 Foreign Ministers this week in Rio. That was not exactly a breakthrough. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it very clear that the collective West at the G20 tried by all means to “Ukrainize” the agenda – with less than zero success. They were outnumbered and counterpunched by BRICS and Global South members.

At his press conference, Lavrov could not be more stark on the prospects of the war of the collective West against Russia. These are the highlights:

  • Western countries categorically do not want serious dialogue on Ukraine.
  • There were no serious proposals from the United States to begin contacts with the Russian Federation on strategic stability; trust cannot be restored now while Russia is declared an enemy.
  • There were no contacts on the sidelines of the G20 with either Blinken or the British Foreign Secretary.
  • The Russian Federation will respond to new Western sanctions with practical actions that relate to the self-sufficient development of the Russian economy.
  • If Europe tries to restore ties with the Russian Federation, making it dependent on their whims, then such contacts are not needed.

In a nutshell – diplomatically: you are irrelevant, and we don’t care.

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