My last post about Karabakh shed light on a problem that is ever-present in our politics and in the mood of our population. This is a problem that, in the current context, can have extremely severe repercussions.
When the Second Karabakh War began, I carefully monitored both sides' Telegram channels and media. After a certain period of time - about a month or so - I stopped following just about every Armenian source, because they had turned into a pure stream of propaganda - to the point that it became clear that any kind of real understanding of the situation would be impossible on that end. The Armenians tried convincing themselves of non-stop, heroic victories when even a brief glance at the maps and a description of battlefield locations painted the opposite picture. Ukraine must not repeat this Armenian mistake.
Yes, happy exclamations of "Chornobaivka 10:0" give moral courage, but it will be all to easy to follow the Armenians down the path of victorious inebriation. Don't forget - Zelensky and his team already made a crucial mistake when they believed that their massive infrastructure investments would resolve the core problems facing the country. This led to Russia falling out of focus at precisely the time they were gearing up for an escalation.
Today, I'm seeing many people relax somewhat, making plans about returning to Kyiv and such. Don't even think about relaxing. This whole thing will last a while, and we as Ukrainians need to get used to living with the mindset of a long war and a strong will. I went into this in detail in my last few texts such as "Fog of War: Mistakes Ukraine Needs to Avoid in World War III" and "Why Putin will employ tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. A message to Ukrainians - the last free people on Earth."
Right now we would all do well to watch fewer videos from Chornobaivka and more videos from Izyum, Volnovakha and of course Mariupol, that bloodied city that is focusing the attention of huge amounts of enemy troops. That is where the future of this war will be decided - and the future of the negotiations with Russia. The Russian Ministry of Defense made a statement that they are focused on bringing their forces to the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
Russia desperately needs a tangible "win" and it absolutely has sufficient resources to continue pummeling Ukraine Don't take my word for it - Brigadier General, Oleksandr Gruzevych, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Command of the Land Forces, had this to say today: "Does the enemy have forces? Of course he does. All of these obnoxious statements about them running out of rockets - based on the intensity of attacks, we're seeing that that's not the case. The enemy is actively opening fire, especially when it comes to military installations and military infrastructure" - said Gruzevych in a briefing with Ukrainian media in Kyiv on Friday. He also noted that the armed forces received reports that Russia is mobilizing in Dagestan, and bringing up other fresh forces. "As I'm sure you understand, it will take time for them to appear near Kyiv. Those kinds of forces don't travel by air. The enemy still has strength, and believe me he will bring them to bear in the very near term" - added Gruzevych.
For all these reasons Ukraine, it's elites, and its society must all remain cool-headed in analyzing the situation. If you judge certain actions of the armed forces based on incomplete information you obtain from an informational bubble, you are asking for trouble. To expect that the enemy is about to rout or even switch sides en masse is to underestimate Russia and to overestimate our own capabilities. Armenia in 2020 showed clearly what a war waged from inside an information bubble leads to.