One had just dared to hope that the widespread air raids on the Ukrainian energy supply were now over, when Russia again launched a comprehensive attack. Severe destruction, power outages and cold heating at freezing temperatures are the result - not to mention the threatened taking of Bakhmut, which cannot be held for much longer.
Time and again, Moscow succeeds in increasing its clout when it seems to be flagging. Is the Kremlin suffering heavy losses? Yes he does. Does he have trouble maintaining the morale of his own troops? Yes, he has. Do the western sanctions hurt him? Yes they do.
Nonetheless, there are three things you should never ignore when looking at Russia. They belong to this gigantic empire like St. Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.
First, human life has always been of less value in Russia than in Europe. The cynicism is great. Dying is considered a part of life, especially when it affects others. For much longer than in the West, the Russian leadership has been indifferent to the number of casualties on both the enemy and their own side.
Secondly, it was not just in Syria that Moscow waged a war of annihilation with maximum destructiveness. It has been part of Russian warfare for centuries. Even Napoleon got to know him. With a view to the Tsarist Empire, he was also the first to speak. So the level of destruction in Ukraine will continue until there is some form of ceasefire.
Third, the Russian soldiers were hardly ever properly equipped for battle. The reports of supply shortages, inadequate food and missing pay for Russian soldiers go back to the 18th century and could fill libraries if they were collected.
Nevertheless, the respective army leadership often managed more unintentionally than consciously to improvise combat morale and talent and to keep it in the troops - which does not mean that Russia wins every war. The defeats in the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War are counterexamples.
On the whole, however, it is said: This war in Ukraine will last for a long time. Again and again it will lead to severe disappointment for those who count on a quick end.
For the West, this primarily means finally providing Ukraine with a reliable, long-term supply of ammunition so that it can at least rudimentarily withstand the hail of Russian shells until the costs of the war become too high for Moscow. Nothing more can be hoped for.
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