By Marc Trepanier.
With US Troops being deployed, to NATO partner countries sending arms and support to the Ukraine, the following can be expected:
- Russian war rhetoric to increase
- Russian forces to receive a false flag attack or
- Russian forces to receive an order to invade
- NATO and US Conventional forces deployed into the Ukraine
- Ukrainian resistance forces taking up arms
- Russian forces slowed by environmental issues
Rhetoric Points to a Possible Invasion. Putin is very likely to order the invasion of the Ukraine. Ukraine was once part of the Soviet Union. Putin wants part or all of the country back. This invasion will be preceded by violent rhetoric and a possible false flag attack against Russian troops.
Russian war rhetoric will likely increase. In his 2007 speech in Munich Putin said “I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.” Placing NATO troops in Ukraine will be met with vitriol from the Kremlin.
Putin’s goal is to reestablish the USSR. You can see this goal in this Munich speech:
“[W]hat is a unipolar world? at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. It is [a] world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. … this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world. … the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation.”
Putin sees a unipolar world as impossible. It sees global crises in the world and Russia as the logical cure. Putin believes it is his duty to project Russia as a foil to the West in general and America in particular.
False Flag Attack. Russia could very likely use SPETSNAZ forces in unmarked uniforms, as used in Crimea, to conduct “cross border” attacks against his troops. Russians dying in training is no concern to the Russian military, so losing a few in a staged attack is no issue. It would give the excuse needed for a military response. As of 3 February 2022, Biden released information received from British intelligence. Russia planned a false flag attack and prepared a video. The video contained scenes with corpses and destroyed military equipment, both Russian and NATO-styled. This video would have been used to justify a Russian attack.
Invasion Order? Russian forces may receive an order to invade Ukraine. The Kremlin may tell the world they are protecting the Russian lineage of the separatists in the Donbas region as they did in Crimea. Crimea was a well-planned operation that was in the works for a long time. However, repeating that success on the scale of a country-wide operation would be near impossible for the Russians.
NATO Deployment. NATO and US Conventional forces have deployed into the Ukraine. At least 3,000 US troops are being deployed in NATO countries in support of coming operations. Policy makers will continue with sanctions and other diplomatic means against Russia, its international businesses and businessmen, its political leaders, and so on.
The Resistance. The Ukrainian resistance forces are taking up arms. Resisting Russia will involve Hybrid Warfare, the combined use of military and non-military assets. Success in this relies on the foundation of a successful information operation prior to the invasion. Since Crimea, Ukraine has made tremendous efforts to invest heavily in its population as a resistance force. The Ukrainian government professionalized their resistance fighters under law 5557 called Fundamentals of National Resistance. This is to avoid overly violent and costly resistance groups.
The current population of the Ukraine is 43.6 million. Of that, 67% of the population is within the age range of 45 to 64 years old. Of this, currently 220,000 are in the military, leaving about 31 million potential resistance fighters.
A Stretched Russian Military. As of 28 January 2022, Canadian Imam Younus Kathrada called for Syrian Muslims to increase their attacks against Russian troops occupying Syria. This, along with ongoing activities in Georgia and Chechnya, would have the Russian military stretched on three active fronts. The Kremlin cannot bankroll these operations and a full scale invasion of the Ukraine followed with a contested occupation.
Environmental Considerations. Raputitsa is a Russian term for two seasons of the year. These two seasons are spring and autumn that are marked by melting snow and ice or persistent rains resulting in heavy mud. Tracked vehicles and heavy troop moving vehicles become largely restricted to hardball surfaces. By being restricted to developed roads, streets, and highways invading Russian forces will find themselves at numerous choke points and ambush points.
Summary. After the discovery of a video appearing to be made in support of a false flag attack it seems that a Russian attack on the Ukraine is inevitable at this point. It remains a matter of when. To avoid the pitfalls of the spring thaw the invasion has to come in early February. The pending incursion has been preceded by a heavy and years’ long propaganda campaign to the separatists in the Donbas region. But this is likely not as effective as Russia would like as support for living under Russian rule appears to have waned.
NATO forces are staging closer to Russian territory. The Ukrainian government has prepared and militarized their citizenry. This may be the turning point in preventing a full take over. The weather may be the deciding factor in how the invasion is conducted and whether it is a success or failure. Much of the Russian armor and heavy troop vehicles may well be useless in the mud and easy targets in columns on the roads for the Ukraine military and the Citizens Defense Forces.
Author Bio: Marc Trepanier is a veteran of both active duty and reserves units. He served 21 years with time in both the Army and Navy in positions from Infantry to Theater level intelligence operations coordination. He has earned a Master’s in writing.