It’s been a while – six months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – so it’s time to take stock of the war so far.
First of all, we must recognize that we all missed the mark. It was widely accepted, that is what the information published in the major media claimed, that the Russian armed forces were so modernized by Putin that they would just walk into Ukraine.
The fact that the war continues six months later is surprising, and not only does it continue, not only do the Russians seem unable to proceed with the occupation of the neighboring territory, but the Ukrainians in some cases are even going on the counter-attack, inflicting heavy losses on their enemies.
Who knows how long this will last? But this fact in itself is of major importance and it reveals a lot about Russia’s situation, as well as Ukraine’s.
As far as Russia is concerned, it is clear that its armed forces have significant weaknesses and that Moscow’s only strength is its nuclear weapons.
A possible reason for the state in which the armed forces of Russia find themselves is the substantial and widespread corruption at all levels of society, including the armed forces.
The same and possibly even worse corruption exists in Ukraine. But it seems that the invasion of the homeland by a foreign power united the Ukrainians, animated them. That seems to be what happens throughout history when a people is forced to fight for their homeland, for their religion, for their families.
Of course, without the massive aid from America, without the unity shown by Europe and NATO – setting aside the substantial, shameless, exception of Turkey’s favoritism towards Russia – the Ukrainian patriots would not have lasted long.
The past six months have altered the political economy of the world in ways that are obvious to the naked eye – and ways not so obvious.
The effects on the economy are already significant. The energy and grain disruptions alone, and their consequences, if you calculate them, are huge.
And these, of course, combined with Russia’s effort to destabilize countries friendly to Ukraine, through Moscow’s friends in the media, businessmen, and others, trigger serious political developments.
The examples of Draghi in Italy or Macron in France are revealing.
Moscow is trying to do something similar in Greece, taking advantage of the serious issue of wiretapping – an issue which, of course, the Russians are indifferent to per se.
How long will the war last and what will be the consequences? It would be risky, based on our experience so far, to make predictions.
It is certain, however, that there will be consequences – even massive ones.
So, the sooner this great wound is closed – the first major war in Europe after the Second World War – the better.