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Ethnic Russian groups pose new threat to Putin in Ukraine War
Hey everybody, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from Scottsdale. Today we’re going to talk about something that went down on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Specifically a group of people who consider themselves partisans, identifying that they’re ethnic Russians opposed to the government of Vladimir Putin, were joining forces with the Ukrainians and they launched an assault across the border into the city of Belgrade in southwestern Russia.
Damage was relatively limited. We’re really talking about a couple of buildings like the FSB office hit; they got burned down. But the Russians redistributed some forces and over the course of the next two or three days managed to push them all back into Ukraine. According to Russian propaganda, they were all killed. Who knows? We don’t even know how many men were involved in the first place.
Now, this is important for two reasons. Well, three reasons. Number one, it shows that the Russians didn’t even bother to garrison any of their logistical centers that are hard on Ukraine’s border. That is something that is definitely going to be relevant moving forward as the Ukrainians get ready to push the Russians out of more land. Second, in the war of propaganda, the Ukrainians of course are saying these people are unaffiliated, the Russians are saying that they’re all Ukrainian. The truth is somewhere in between.
Obviously, they’re getting supplies and equipment from the Ukrainian forces that are probably specifically managed by the Ukrainian forces. But the third most important thing is, these are ethnic Russians from Ukraine. And even in the Russian response, they admitted that these are ethnic Russians that are fighting Russia, in Russia. So whether or not that was a propaganda hiccup, or an admission that the single most viable bit of propaganda that the Russians had been pushing, that they are completely in there to save ethnic Russians, that’s going to be a big problem moving forward.
One more thing I forgot. Belgrade is a really important city for any number of reasons, but the most important one is it serves as Russia’s primary logistical point in launching off for assaults against the city of Kharkov, which if you remember, was one of the first places that the Russians attacked earlier in the war, and were there until they were kicked out in the last year’s summer offensive.
The Russians are going to push this war until they can’t. And that means that at some point, if Ukraine is going to emerge victorious, they’re gonna have to cross into Russia proper and neutralize Belgrade. The partisans indicate one of the ways that that might happen. So we may be seeing the beginning of a multi-vectored strategic policy here and the Russians have proven that they haven’t bothered to even put basic defenses in the city. I’m sure they’re gonna work on correcting that now, but there’s a lot on the Russians’ plates. Okay, now I’m done for real. Bye.
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