Oil Rigs and pipes
Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

I will not write about my shock on February 24, 2022, and my stresses and anger throughout this dreadful year. I will try to lay out rational things but one emotional issue still comes to my mind: Putin bombed Kyev and Kharkiv, cities populated by Russian-speaking people. The last time such a thing happened, was June 22, 1941, early morning. I still can’t imagine what kind of a Russian man you should be to have ordered to bomb Russian-speaking people…

One year ago I was sure the Russian army would have destroyed Ukraine in days. To my surprise, and I believe not just mine, Ukraine stood strong. It is a remarkable example of both military and civilian courage from the people of Ukraine. I admire it. 

Vladimir Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, proved to be a true national leader. Before the war broke out, his ratings were about 30%, and, in general, he didn’t look like a president; more like a former comedian. With the war, he experienced a fantastic transformation. Now Zelensky is the #1 politician and national leader in the world. He didn’t panic and didn’t leave Kyev in the first hours of the invasion, and this speaks books about his character. 


As to Vladimir Putin, he probably had the worst year of his life. The paradox is that he managed to create it by his desire. Nobody told him to do it. Plenty of powerful people around the globe were doing just the opposite, telling Vlad not to try it. Vlad decided he was the smartest man in the world. I think there were no threats to Russia’s national security that couldn’t be resolved by diplomatic means and political dialogue. He chose the worst way out of the options he had at hand back then. Why? Let’s put it this way: the West is the threat. Not to Russia, though, but to Putin personally, and to his efforts to stay in power and rule the country forever. 

By the way, anybody seen this coward on the front lines since February 24?

Vladimir Putin made three strategic mistakes before February 24, 2022. Let’s see: 

  1. He thought that the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia are the same as was declared in his July 2021 article. Back then, having read this piece of Putin’s mind production, I was shocked by his logic; it looked very… weird. He took all the facts about Ukraine’s history he liked, and dismissed the facts he didn’t. I thought then: hey, this is the ideological backbone of his potential war against Ukraine. This was the baseline of his strategic failure regarding Ukraine. Still, I just couldn’t believe he would go for it! 
  1. He underestimated the capability of the Ukrainian army and the will of the Ukrainian people, in general, to resist and fight. It was the outcome of mistake #1. Nobody walked away, they just stood strong.
  1. He was 100% wrong about the Western reaction to his aggression: he thought the West would be weak and divided. He couldn’t be more wrong. This was the outcome of mistake #2 as the West, after a pause, decided to support those who are willing to fight. Ukraine proved that it deserved not a guerilla war but full-scale support.

As a result, he showed himself as an incompetent leader that leads Russia to a national catastrophe. Being a patriot of my country, I feel very sad that Russia is sinking deep into this nightmare. This crisis was created artificially, by one man’s incompetence. As a dictator, Putin, in fact, made a typical autocratic mistake. He’s been too long at power and lost his sharpness. Despite facts, he convinced himself that his wishful thinking is the reality.

It took a real war to prove him wrong. 

The cost of it is tens of thousands of people killed on both sides for one man’s fantasies. Russia has become a pariah of the world, and no strategic gains are seen on the horizon. Now Putin blames the United States and the West, in general, for his mistakes and failures. The shameful thing is that at least half of the Russian people still support this war. It will take years, if not decades, to rectify things as a big part of contemporary Russian society is, in my understanding, fascist, the classic Mussolini way. 

The war, I believe, will go on in 2023. I expect Ukraine to make military gains this year, probably making Russia’s position critical. In general, I believe the tide is turning and Putin is losing this war. 

I admire the Ukrainian people for their courage as they fight for their independence and their very existence. Remember, Putin doesn’t think there’s a Ukrainian nation.  

I wonder what consequences my country and I will face after Putin loses the war. I expect him, eventually, to bear full political and personal responsibility for his actions.

Putin’s War 1 year on

Roger Bara

I’m pleased to be able to write that Britain continues to be among the countries most in favour of action to support Ukraine.  A massive 85% of us reckon Russia should continue to be excluded from international sporting events and over 80% of us agree that doing nothing now will encourage Russia to take further military action in Europe. Most of us agree with our government saying it will stand with Ukraine as long as is necessary. Among NATO countries surveyed, majorities in the U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Poland support their country providing weapons and/or air-defence systems to the Ukrainian military.

If the rest of the world felt the same, perhaps there would be a sign that this horrendous war might be coming to a conclusion. But sadly, the longer this goes on, the more many folks around the world will get tired and even bored with what’s going on, and will lose the will to keep supporting the underdog.

President Zelensky

Neither Russia nor Ukraine is close to achieving their stated war aims; total annihilation of the country as far as Putin is concerned, and Ukraine’s wanting to liberate all occupied territory.

It might be safe to say that the current trajectory of the conflict is going much better for Ukraine than for Russia, and that the continuing influx of new weapons from the west will maintain that course. But if China joins in and sides up with Putin, then basically, we have World War Three on our doorstep. I’m not sure that is what China actually wants at this time. 

Western leaders need to prepare their own people for the struggle ahead by committing themselves to a credible blueprint for a long conflict and, potentially, an even longer armed stand-off when the shooting stops. 

So, is Ukraine actually worth all this effort? Surely climate change and the cost-of-living crisis is far more urgent. No, it is not right to allow a Russian victory; that would only deepen a widespread belief that Western power, and the universal values it sustains, are in steep decline.  

To me, the most likely conclusion is that the war will grind on, and on, and on, and I am pretty well convinced that a year from now we will write a blog entitled: “Putin’s War 2 years on.”

Putin’s War one year on

Photograph of Dean Lewis

I have thought about these words for several days. If the West isn’t careful, we are in the opening phase of what will become World War III. Despite his pompous ass, this has little to do with Putin or the second most powerful army in Ukraine. That entire war is nothing more than the opening act in the battle for Taiwan. China has been watching the dreadful Broadway Production from a safe distance. They are looking for the slightest sign of weakness and we have been more than happy to oblige.

It was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who thought it wise to placate Hitler. This time it’s Emmanuel Macron and he is certain we must provide an “off ramp” for evil and seems mostly concerned that we don’t “humiliate” Mr. Putin. His wish that he alone stands at the head of a new European Army has blinded him.

Skull King

The Communists Party USA from the 1920s, is replaced by the MAGA wing of the Republican Party, led by Majorie Taylor Green. She wants leaders in China to know that there will be “not one penny for Ukraine” and that “NATO has been supplying the neo-Nazis in Ukraine with powerful weapons and extensive training on how to use them.” This are the kinds of statements Xi & Putin have been praying for. Of course, the MAGAs will blame libtards when we cross the one millionth death mark in Asia.

I love history and consider myself something of a student in certain time periods. The 1920s is not my area but you don’t need to be expert to see the frightening parallels. An aggrieved far right party wants to re-litigate history they don’t like. Pick your country, any country… they all want the same, new history. History is rewritten and facts are a matter of opinion. In both time periods, books and unapproved knowledge are banned. Ron DeSantis is white so we shall not discuss slavery in Florida schools. 

Hitler and Stalin carved-up Poland. Another bit of history we best not discuss. Stalin killed more Russians than Hitler… ummm… nope, sorry, Channel One can’t find that little detail in their News database. I’m sure Fox and Rupert stand in awe. 

I’m sure of something else: If Germany and France can’t grow a spine and Putin can outlast the soft West, millions will die. No, I’m not talking about nuclear war, that’s for weak nations, I’m talking about decent people in South-East Asia becoming roadkill under a sky darkened by smart bombs. I’m talking about Capitalist/Imperialist China with new maps proving old, historical facts. Ukraine is all about the hundreds of thousands of young Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, American, and Australian boys who will die. Ukraine is nothing but practice for the main bloody event.