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Russia risks an insurgency in Ukraine and revealing its military playbook

Playing out in Ukraine is Vladimir Putin’s actions, Washington’s calculations, NATO’s ambitions, and Kyiv’s national politics. In this geopolitical petri dish, it is innocent civilians that are at the most risk 

March 04, 2022 / 12:59 PM IST
Ukraine Russia war: A view of a car destroyed by recent shelling in Kyiv outskirts. (AFP Photo)

Ukraine Russia war: A view of a car destroyed by recent shelling in Kyiv outskirts. (AFP Photo)

If there is no breakthrough in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin is staring at a United States-backed insurgency and resurgent neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Putin would have hoped to wrest a quick victory, and not get into a major ground offensive that would cause mass civilian casualties, and reveal his military fighting hand.

Ukrainians slowing the Russian advance and the inability of the Russian Air Force to achieve complete air superiority wouldn’t bother Russia since doing that would have been triggering an angry anti-occupation insurgency that the “CIA (covertly) and Pentagon (overtly)” plans to finance, train, and arm. This also includes providing training and refuge in Poland and Romania for ‘insurgents to slip in and out of Ukraine.’ Former Ukrainian Defence Minister Andriy P Zagorodnyuk’s op-ed in the Atlantic Council reads like an insurgency manual when it suggests “combining serving military units with combat veterans, reservists, territorial defence units (to attack) Russian forces and its lines of supply.”

What it would also do is to reveal how Russia would fight a conventional war when a long drawn anti-insurgency campaign forces it to bring its full military resources to bear. That it is yet to happen seem to disappoint Pentagon officials who’ve doubted whether the ‘full scope’ of Russia’s capabilities have come into play.

Russian defence ministry officials maintain only “surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure.” Ukrainian defence ministry reported on February 24 over “30 ‘Kalibr’ cruise missiles, multiple launch rocket systems and aircraft” in a classic long range fires strike at greater standoff ranges.