Daily Report from the Ukraine Field for 2022-05-31
News, Telegram, and Twitter Articles
After seven years of slaughter in the Donbas and three months of warfare in southern Ukraine, has the Times editorial board suddenly had a rush of compassion for all the victims of the war and the destruction of Ukraine and changed its opinion? Given the record of the Times over the decades, it would seem that other factors are at work.
First of all, Russia has handled the situation unexpectedly well despite dire predictions from the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support exceeds 80 percent.
Out of 195 nations, 165 —including India and China with 35 percent of the world’s population —have refused to join sanctions against Russia, leaving the U.S., not Russia, relatively isolated in the world.
The ruble, which Biden said would be “rubble,” has not only returned to its pre-February levels but is trading recently around a two-year high of about 60 rubles to the dollar compared to 150 in March.
We’ve apparently reached enough dead people to sate Gen. Mark Milley’s appetite.
Kherson Counter Attack Results
A Skeptic’s Best Guess on Final Map
The Red line is current Russian border. The Yellow line is current battle line. The Green line is Moldova government held border. The Aqua line is worst case new south eastern border for Ukraine. The Fuchsia line is minimum northwest border for New Russia.
The logic is based on possible political support. Russia likely has little desire to hold territory where popular support is unlikely to be achieved. It would require too much ongoing military support to subdue unrest. It is likely that Russia wishes to avoid an insurgency after the conflict. For that reason, and others, Russia will have little desire to seize Western Ukraine. The current mandate in Russia does not include seizing Western Ukraine.
In the elections prior to the 2014 coup, areas south and east of the Fuchsia line aligned with the pro Russia candidate by 60% to 93%. It can be argued that previous pro Russian support will have been weakened by war. It can also be argued that previous Western supporters will have likely fled areas controlled by Russia.
The area between the Fuchsia line and the Aqua line is unpredictable. It had 60% to 70% support for the pro Western candidate. Never the less, the area has vital strategic interests. The biggest interest is the Kremenchuk Hydroelectric Power Plant. Aside from energy interests, failure to secure that dam would leave the downstream area vulnerable. The area may end up as a heavily fortified no mans land where NATO insurgents and soldiers of fortune come to fight Russians.
The area between the Green and Fuchsia line is Transnistria. It will be part of New Russia in some form.
In addition to the political maps, we should consider the language maps of Ukraine. Russia is unlikely to leave behind large populations of native Russian speakers.
Thanks for reading A Skeptic! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.