What you hear about Ukraine is the result of a double deception
When the US and allies invaded Iraq in 2003, major combat operations lasted 28 days. The day after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, US military “experts” began telling us Russia should have ended major combat operations within 48 hours, or it’s a loss.
Is the Russian army that much better than our own? Should Putin’s army conquer a NATO-supported country of 40 million faster than the US conquered Iraq?
Boxing taught me there are two basic approaches to a fight. One way is to charge across the ring at the bell and throw the kitchen sink at your opponent, hoping to score a quick, easy win or building up an early point advantage.
The other way is to feel your opponent out, look for his strengths, weaknesses, and tells. In this approach, you save your energy and avoid revealing your own strengths, weaknesses, and tells.
The first approach runs numerous risks:
You can punch yourself out.
You show your opponent all your secrets.
Your offense-mindedness can leave your chin open to a brain-scrambling cross.
The second approach risks falling behind on points and being unable to catch up.
In my three-round amateur fights, my coach usually advised the first approach: get it over with early. But my best fight was the one he told me to learn from my opponent, then surprise him by turning on the afterburners midway through round one.
What I learned in the first 90 seconds was that my opponent left his jab hanging. He didn’t snap his punches. The left side of his head was exposed. I dropped my right hand, encouraging his jab to my right cheek. He scored a lot of points in the first 90 seconds.
When I started counter-punching with a leading right, he never saw it coming. His dangling left served as a screen to my right hand. I could land a leading, straight right every time he floated that lazy jab.
He didn’t answer the bell for round two.
US experts tell us that Putin expected light resistance in Ukraine. They tell us Russia’s plan was to subdue the Ukrainian government in 24 to 48 hours. They say Russia was completely unprepared for the fight they got from Ukrainians and are now mired in a war they’re not prepared to sustain. They tell us the Russian army is running out of food, fuel, and ammunition without achieving a single objective.
I’m not a general, but I see a very different Russian strategy. It looks to me like Russia planned to feel Ukraine out in the early rounds, hoping Zelenskyy would surrender once he realized NATO would not ride to his rescue. But, if the initial bombings didn’t score an early knockout, Putin would take some jabs to learn what the opponent was like—his strengths, weaknesses, and tells.
It also looks like Russia drew the world’s attention to Kiev by surrounding the city with large numbers of green conscripts (or a Potemkin army) while pushing more formidable units from the south and southeast.
Have you noticed that we hear few reports about the Black Sea coast or the Donbas region, the places where the war began. All the news is about Kiev, where we are told Ukrainian resistance has Russia’s army bogged down. They can get no closer than 20 miles away.
Maps show a Russian strategy that’s far different than the strategy US generals impute. Rather than a “shock and awe” campaign, Russia appears to be poised for a battle that takes at least as long as the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Looking at this map, I see the Russian army cutting off the eastern third of Ukraine, isolating Kiev, and blockading Odessa. This would allow Putin to withdraw troops into the eastern part of Ukraine, partitioning the country from just east of Kharkiv in the north to the western edge of Crimea in the south.
I expect the Russian forces to advance on the bulk of the Ukrainian army, which is in or near the Donbas region. This pincer movement will prevent Ukraine’s best forces from returning west to break the siege of Kiev.
Based on progress over 12 days, the three major prongs of the Russian forces should secure that partitioned region in a week. This will leave Ukraine’s best army trapped inside the Russian-occupied territory.
In short, I suspect Russia’s aim is to partition Ukraine. But that’s not what Western experts and pundits are telling us.
Instead, the pundits, including retired 4-star generals, tell us the Russian army, composed of 18-year-old, untrained conscripts who thought they were going on a pleasant training exercise, have run out of food, fuel, and ammo on the road to Kiev. They are sitting ducks waiting for the newly armed Ukrainian citizen-army to shoot them up like the closing scene of Bonnie and Clyde. The media want us to believe that Putin’s goal of completely occupying all of Ukraine is going to fail.
Last week, for instance, the US media and military continued reporting that a Russian assault on Kherson long after Kherson was firmly under Russian control.
What I see is deception.
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