There are many reasons why I’m glad to not be living back home in America right now, and one of them is that I no longer have to listen to the American mainstream media — and worse, those normies who parrot their views in everyday conversations. I’ve been seeing that the alleged “crisis” between Ukraine and Russia has been a big deal in the American media for weeks now, but I wasn’t taking it seriously given that no one was talking about it where I live, which is in a country that borders on Ukraine, until recently at any rate — mainly because, as usual, Americans are compelling the rest of the world to buy into their own hysteria.
Even though some discussion of it is now taking place in Europe, however, my overall impression is that few people here, apart from America’s lackeys among the elites and especially in the typically russophobic countries such as Sweden, Poland, and the Baltics believe that a new war is actually imminent. But given that, judging from what I see in the US news, war hysteria there has reached a pitch that I haven’t seen since the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and which some are claiming is the most hysterical America has been since the Cuban Missile Crisis, I figured it was time to offer my own perspective to try to calm things down a bit — for those who will listen, at any rate.
Obviously there is an ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukraine, which is backed by NATO, and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are backed by Russia, and there has been for nearly eight years now. That’s beyond dispute. What is ridiculous is the idea, which is circulating widely in the mainstream media and at a fever pitch, that President Vladimir Putin is on the verge of launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine all the way to Kiev — and presumably on to Lviv in the west.
This is ridiculous on its face, because if Putin actually wanted to conquer Ukraine, he wouldn’t have to invade. All he’d have to do is turn off the electricity, gasoline, and natural gas supplies that Russia sends there — and which account for approximately 80% of their supply. In the middle of winter, that would get the job done rather quickly. Moreover, he could have done this at any time in the past eight years, since the conflict started.
It’s true that Russia has positioned approximately 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Russian-allied Belarus, and has stationed some of its naval forces off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. What the Western media fails to mention is that this is nowhere near adequate to mount a full-scale invasion of the country. Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia itself. It consists of 233,062 square miles of territory and has a population of over 44 million. For comparison, Iraq consists of approximately 168,753 square miles of territory (about 75% the size of Ukraine) and in 2003 had a population of 25 million. The US and its “coalition of the willing” invaded Iraq in March 2003 with a force of 310,000 troops. The initial invasion was indeed over in less than a month, but then the US and its allies found themselves bogged down in a brutal guerrilla war that only ended nearly nine years later when the US decided to withdraw. (And even today, the war still isn’t really over, of course.) Ukraine would therefore be an even tougher nut to crack, even with three times the number of troops Russia currently has deployed.
And if 100,000 soldiers sounds like a lot, bear in mind that they’re strung along a border that is 1,400 miles long — or slightly less (by 150 miles) than the distance from London to Moscow. And that’s not counting Ukraine’s border with Russian ally Belarus — an additional 700 miles.
Thus, Putin and his generals surely understand that it would take a lot more than 100,000 troops to subdue Ukraine — especially given that an important difference between Ukraine today and Iraq in 2003 is that Saddam’s Iraq was internationally isolated, whereas Ukraine is being backed by NATO and other powerful allies. And while the Ukrainian military is no match for Russia’s, and there may indeed be a lot of Ukrainian citizens sympathetic to Russia in the east, the western part of the country is implacably hostile and would undoubtedly give Moscow as much of a headache for years to come as the Iraqis gave Washington — and they could count on NATO support, as well. Not a pretty prospect.
The truth is that Putin is too smart to invade, and not only because of the strategic problems I’ve mentioned above. The fact is that Putin doesn’t want to deal with the international backlash, which would be considerable, nor does he want to deal with all the problems that would ensue from a costly invasion followed by having to govern an impoverished, corruption-riddled, and divided country. Economically speaking, Ukraine is to Russia roughly as Mexico is to the US. The per capita GDP of Russia in 2021 was $29,485, whereas in Ukraine it was $4,958. For comparison, America’s in 2021 was $74,725 and Mexico’s in 2020 was $10,405. Russia’s standard of living is therefore approximately seven times that of Ukraine, and the US’ is approximately seven times more than Mexico’s. For Russia to absorb Ukraine into itself would therefore be akin to attempting to incorporate a Third World state into its body.
It should now be obvious why there’s much to lose and little for Russia to gain by attempting to outright conquer Ukraine. Much more likely is that Putin is hoping to maneuver things in order to put a more Russia-friendly government back in power there — something that could very well happen given that many experts believe that the Ukrainian government as it currently stands is bound to collapse on its own sooner or later, anyway, due to internal pressures, corruption, and general incompetence. His deployment of forces along the Ukrainian borders is probably intended to put pressure on Kiev, to send a warning signal regarding the country’s possible accession to NATO, and also to provoke a reaction from the West — but more on that later.
I can add that, according to friends I have spoken to in Ukraine, the media there has not been reporting on the alleged “crisis” at all, which is an odd thing if there is indeed an imminent all-out invasion. As was widely reported even in the US media two weeks ago, even Ukraine’s President, the democratically elected Volodymyr Zelensky — who is literally a Jewish comedian –, argued on the phone with Biden when the latter warned him of an impending assault by the Russians. It’s rather confusing when even the people and leaders of the country you claim you desperately want to save insist that they don’t need saving.
The question is therefore why Washington is trying to foment the idea that war is imminent. One reason is likely that Biden and his people know full well that nothing dramatic is going to happen. Just about everything Biden has attempted to do over the past year has failed miserably, and he’s pretty desperate for a win now that his popularity is in the toilet. Thus, when there is no attack on Ukraine, he can take credit afterwards for having “stood up to Putin” and averted a catastrophe by claiming that he intimidated the Kremlin into standing down.
It’s even likelier, however, that Washington is manufacturing a crisis in order to distract from other issues and to try to manipulate its allies into doing its bidding. One reason for this is the fact that Russia has been pressing the US to address threats it perceives to its security. While it is not known exactly what Russia’s demands are, the fact that the Kremlin has been attempting to gain concessions and guarantees from the US has been widely reported in recent weeks. It’s not a great mystery as to what these demands probably are, however. Moscow certainly wants to pressure the US into withdrawing its anti-ballistic missile forces from Poland and Romania — practically in Russia’s backyard. It may also be that they are asking the US to remove the nuclear weapons that it maintains in Germany and Turkey, which are a stone’s throw from delivery to Russia, making the Russians extremely vulnerable to a first strike. From Russia’s point of view, these deployments threaten the nuclear balance of power that has been maintained since the end of the Cold War, given that Russia currently maintains no military forces in close proximity to the United States.
Further, it is no secret that the Kremlin has long wanted a guarantee that Ukraine will never be admitted to NATO, given that this would bring American forces right to their front door. Russia’s demands are understandable if one considers what the American reaction would be if the government of Mexico were announcing its intention of entering into a military alliance with Russia, that would in turn allow Russian forces and perhaps even nuclear weapons to be deployed just over the border from California, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. One only needs to recall Washington’s reaction when the Soviet deployment of nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba in 1962 was discovered, which could not exactly be called measured and restrained. So it may be that Washington is attempting to obscure Putin’s actual demands by drowning them out with talk of an imminent all-out invasion.
I should mention that for its part, the Russian media is also predicting war, but coming from the opposite direction. Just today, the Russian parliament asked Vladimir Putin to recognize the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine. This was done because Moscow has been accusing Kiev of failing to abide by the Minsk Protocol, which was signed in 2014 in an attempt to resolve the conflict by getting the post-Maidan government to offer certain guarantees to the republics. Additionally, Moscow says that Kiev has been massing forces of its own near the breakaway republics, not as a defensive measure but as preparation for an all-out assault in the event that Putin does indeed extend official recognition to them. War scares can work both ways, you see.
Another factor is that Washington desperately wants to find a way to disrupt the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and more generally the increasingly warm relations between Berlin and Moscow. Nord Stream 2 will massively increase Russia’s capacity to deliver its natural gas to Germany, and from there to the rest of Europe. Washington is terrified that this will increase Russia’s influence in Europe and make it more difficult to persuade its European allies to stand up to the Kremlin when demanded. And if Germany, as the powerhouse that drives the entire European Union, continues cozying up to the Russians, this will leave America in a much weaker position in a region that it has considered part of its own sphere of influence since the end of the Second World War. Viewed from a Rightist perspective, however, splitting Europe off from the US and putting it in an alliance with conservative Russia is far preferable to the current order of things, where the cradle of our civilization has been reduced to little more than an American colony.
If Washington’s intention was to use the Ukraine crisis to weaken Russia’s position in Europe, however, it has backfired considerably. The reactions among most of Continental Europe’s NATO member states have ranged from skepticism to outright refusal to support the alliance in the event of war. Croatia has threatened to withdraw its forces from NATO entirely if the conflict with Russia escalates into a shooting war. Hungary stopped short of making such a bold statement, but said that its support for Ukraine could only be “limited” given the post-Maidan government’s mistreatment of its Hungarian minority, and also refused Biden’s offer to deploy 1,000 troops there as a defensive precaution. But worst of all for Biden, the prize itself, Germany, has declined to send weapons to Ukraine despite requests to do so, and moreover has remained noncommittal about cancelling Nord Stream 2 in response to the alleged Russian hostilities despite Joe’s insistence that it do so.
At this point in the game — which admittedly isn’t over yet — the winner is clearly Vladimir Putin, given that he has exposed the weaknesses and divisions within NATO and shown the world that America’s own allies will not simply follow like lemmings when it tries to drag Europe into a conflict with Russia. There has also been speculation that Washington has been hoping that by blowing the Ukrainian situation up into a full-blown crisis that it could intimidate Moscow into pulling its forces back from the Ukrainian borders. They have also failed to achieve this objective thus far. The fact is that America is much weaker today than at any other time since the Second World War and is now considered to be in decline by the rest of the world, as has already been shown in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and Putin is more than happy to be the one who exposes these new realities for all the globe to see.
If there is a war, it will come as a result of American aggression, not Russian. Washington of course would love to see Russia embark on a reckless adventure in Ukraine, because this might again drive Europe back into their camp, enable new sanctions against Moscow, and possibly lead to the end of Nord Stream 2. It may be that the US is in fact trying to provoke Russian intervention in the breakaway republics, and perhaps even Crimea, using Ukrainian forces as a proxy with the intention of presenting a Russian military response as “Russian aggression” and using it as a pretext to attain these goals. Only time will tell. Putin is shrewd, but it is still possible for Washington to force his hand, since it is unlikely he could afford to do nothing if NATO tries to reverse his gains in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The breakaway republics offer a guarantee that Ukraine will not be admitted to NATO, since NATO would never accept Kiev’s membership for as long as there is an ongoing conflict there, and Crimea is of vital strategic importance to Moscow. Thus, while the game is so far playing out in Putin’s favor, it’s still possible for Washington to turn the tide.
For those who dream of a world liberated from the designs of the American elite, we can cautiously say that this seems to be a good development, at least so far. The Russian government is not the savior of Western civilization that it is made out by some to be, but we should still welcome this development as a challenge to globohomo’s grip on the world. And as for Ukraine, they should finally stop allowing themselves to be used as America’s pawn, get out from under NATO’s shadow, and actually begin acting in their own interests again rather than allowing Washington to continue fighting Moscow to the last drop of Ukrainian blood.
I would like to credit Russia commentator Valery Morozov  for inspiring some of the points that I have discussed.
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.
- First, donor comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Second, donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Non-donors will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days.
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:
Paywall Gift Subscriptions
- your payment
- the recipient’s name
- the recipient’s email address
- your name
- your email address
To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.