It doesn't matter to me how this text will be perceived by the vast majority of kind people who have read it. And how they will treat me personally. Like everything written on this page, these letters are solely my subjective opinion.
I am aware that now this text will be perceived badly. Things are like this. Hot time. A lot of pain. People do not want to accept facts and analyze complex phenomena. They are looking for confirmation of what they have already believed, which is close to them. This is normal - you need strength to survive.
The text was written because
1) there were many questions from people whom I respect, although I often argue.
2) perhaps it will give some clues to those who, on the eve of decisive events, are trying to figure it out and are looking for a foothold.
3) so that you can return to it in a few months, when you need to check something.
4) some kind of game is going on in the network, as if the war has already ended, and it's time to punish the innocent and reward the uninvolved. Nothing is over, not even close...
First. Anyone with any brains can't deny. Even now. Even now. Even now. Even now. Even now. Against the background of torn apart Mariupol, wounded Kharkov, mutilated Chernigov. After the genocide in Bucha, mass graves in the high-rise buildings of Borodianka, the station in Kramatorsk. Against the backdrop of terror in the Kherson region. Even now. The level of involvement and reaction from the "civilized world" remain inadequate to the situation. Not insufficient, but inadequate. Illogical, if the basis of logic is the prevention / struggle against what the Kremlin personifies.
The decisions now being made in the West would have been ideal in November and good in December 2021. They would have been a little belated in January, when NATO was offered to “collect the bag”. But still could affect in February. Befor it started. But we have what we have.
And now mentally returnt to the end of October 2021, when “suddenly” they started talking about the coming invasion. And imagine what level of "support" we had then.
Many quite sane people still refuse to accept it.
All those who then "warned" about the invasion. All. They did not offer Ukraine the options “now we will introduce terrible sanctions and give you weapons for defense.” There was only one option - "to offer Ukraine to surrender." Surrender. Become part of a large ORDLO under Russian control.
The Ukrainian military-political leadership REFUSED to capitulate. This decision was made AGAINST the position of our partners.
At the end of the year, our partners were proved that Ukraine would fight DESPITE their decisions.
Check it. For example, see the posting by Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov on AtlanticCouncil dated 12/03/21. It also described the consequences of Western non-intervention - from millions of refugees to a global food crisis if a full-scale war cannot be averted. Everything has already come true!
This is what was stated in public.
At that moment, the only support in the fight against Russia was the UKRAINIAN PEOPLE. Therefore, the priority for the military-political leadership was to strengthen the faith of the Ukrainian people in their army and their forces. This happened under terrible media and political pressure.
We like to use Israel for analogies and as a metaphor. So since November we have been "Israel".
The basis of being Israel is a choice, a consistent choice AGAINST. An "irrational" decision to fight DESPITE, instead of a "prudent" conciliation with those who find it difficult to refuse.
I am convinced that in November-January the military-political leadership of the country SUCCESSFULLY SOLVED the task of forming the basis for resistance based on the strength of the Ukrainian people. These are not only my conjectures - this is confirmed by sociology, which was carried out at the expense of the taxpayers of the partner countries.
Remember. Then, as a prelude to the invasion, the same partners indicated the factor of “internal destabilization”. The element of destabilization is panic. By the end of January, this factor was neutralized. DESPITE.
Sociology has recorded the growth of Ukrainians' confidence in the ability to repel an attack, DESPITE what was going on in the media.
And now remember or look - WHEN the first noticeable deliveries of weapons took place. I'll give you a hint. It happened AFTER the partners had to come to terms - Ukraine will still resist. And if the attack happened against the backdrop of a complete lack of help, it would look very ugly.
You can refer to me or these letters however you like. But you have to deal with the fact that stingers only appeared at the end of January. A little earlier, anti-tank systems appeared. Although the request for help was on a different level and much earlier. For example, back in November, at the insistent request of Ukraine, a monitoring mission came to check our needs for missile defense and air defense. The dialogue was conducted not at the level of slogans, but at the level of very applied provable things. It was only needed to make a decision...
The escalation began against the background of the LACK of adequate support for the situation and the reaction of the free world.
"Destroying sanctions" have not yet been introduced, although they have been promised a thousand times! Remember how many "preventive" statements there were. And look at what the Swift shutdown and transport sanctions, especially maritime ones, really are. How many exceptions are there and which ones. But 45 days of a brutal war have already passed. But this is on our side. For some, the Easter holidays are just around the corner. This is not a reproach - this is the situation in which we find ourselves.
After the military-political leadership of Ukraine refused to surrender, and the President refused to leave Kyiv, a new reality emerged. For which the partners were not ready. An "Israel" emerged with a population of 40 million, a huge territory in the center of Europe, fighting furiously with a terrifying enemy.
Remember that the President of Ukraine was strongly advised not to go to Munich. Forgot already? Did they forget his speech? But there were so many delights. If the President ran away, many would be very comfortable. There would be a “Ukrainian Tikhanovskaya”. One could perform at prestigious venues around the world, take pictures, listen to regret and support ...
But the army and the people survived, the government behaved with dignity. That's why we still have a country. A hundred times better than all Israel.
Second. How to assess the degree of our readiness for war?
In my personal subjective opinion, the situation looks like this: we, who had not completed preparations, were attacked by an enemy unprepared for war. Who felt that the balance of power could seriously change not in his favor, and this is the last advantageous moment for the attack.
For those who rush around with cries of "foreign intelligence warned", I suggest thinking at least one whole gyrus, and not a half.
In all public reports, the thought sounded like a refrain - the intelligence data is the same. Only practical solutions are opposite: an offer to surrender and a refusal to surrender. Because the interests are different. Many would be much more comfortable if we gave up.
Now take it literally.
On the evening of February 20, three days before the escalation, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated (check the quote): “as of this hour, the STRIKING group (!) from the Russian Federation has not yet been FORMED in any of the places where they surrounded Ukraine. Therefore, it is inappropriate to say that there will be an attack tomorrow, there will be an attack the day after tomorrow. But this does not mean that there are low risks, this does not mean that there is no threat ... We absolutely consciously assess all risks and all threats. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, together with the entire Ukrainian people, are ready for resistance.” This conclusion was based on the conclusion of Ukrainian intelligence.
For those who want to get not a political, but a military assessment, I advise you to watch the speech of Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzny on the talk show “Right to Authority” on February 3, 2022. Zaluzny says in plain text: “Since October 30, we have done a lot of work. And it's good that they don't talk about it at all. And we continue this work now. So we did everything right. ... We are preparing those necessary groups so that we can fight back, and we are carrying out planning activities, and even training... ". This broadcast was already after the “visit of the director of the CIA”, which was promoted in the media and social networks, where “everything was told to us in detail.”
The entire period before the start of the escalation, there was an absolutely adequate assessment of the situation and everything that COULD BE DONE was done. Zaluzhny says right in these words: “what could have been done was done.”
Both Reznikov and Zaluzhny unanimously repeated in those months - believe in the ZSU!
What did subsequent events show?
At the time of escalation:
1) Our army was ready. Remember. Russia planned to nullify our aviation and air defense with the very first strike. It didn't work out. Because aviation and air defense were dispersed in advance. The weapons received from partners were also dispersed, and most of them were transferred to combat units. Moreover: as part of the mirror exercises, a number of combat units were withdrawn from the PAP along the entire perimeter in advance. This drastically slowed down the enemy. The plans were thwarted.
2) The enemy launched the attack clearly unprepared for such an operation. Proof - on the part of Belarus, Sumy, Chernigov, the offensive impulse dried up after three days, the invaders stalled without supplies. The logistics part, which is part of the strike force, was not ready. That is, the data of our intelligence, on which our military-political leadership relied, were reliable. And the conclusions were correct. The assault continued only where the logistical shoulder was close to zero (Kharkov, the JFO zone, Mariupol, Kherson region).
3) Our troops entered into an equal battle with the elite assault units of Russia. I emphasize. Ours adequately met all the best that is (or rather, was) in Russia. The defeat of the landing in Gostomel and Vasilkov is the clearest proof. We still do not appreciate it at its true worth, because of the the hot phase. But the slippage of the invaders is due to the fact that the most combat-ready Russian units are simply mowed down. And blunt mass pressure has a limited effect. It is paradoxical (in fact, it is understandable) that the experienced units of the ORDLO militants are fighting better than the regular Russian troops.
4) Our internal assessments also turned out to be correct, that the enemy will not be able to take Kyiv. Although at the highest level of partners, the capital was given 3 days to encircle - a week to surrender. Remember/Check.
5) The main thing is that our PEOPLE was ready. The perfidious attack of the enemy, the mere mention of which causes the trembling of half the world, did not break the Ukrainian people.
You can take my conclusion as subjective. But I am convinced of it: the military-political leadership of our country managed to SUCCESSFULLY implement a cover operation to prepare to repel a possible attack. Taking into account domestic political, foreign political and applied (military) factors, a lot has been done. Probably not all, but a lot. And this was enough to withstand the first wave of attacks. As will be further - we'll see. Someday later, in 15 years, if I live, I will describe another track with Belarus. Now no comment.
Third. The most painful. Could it have been prevented?
Don't know. Everything was done for this.
The Russians are good at analyzing applied things. They probably saw that by the end of March the Ukrainian army would receive a new quality (we are not only talking about SRW. We are talking about the introduction of ACS and many other things that have been unfolding since the end of the year. For example, the largest contracts for the supply of armor and a number of other positions that have been implemented in March, were charged in December-January). In fact, the Kremlin was in a situation: to attack in February, being unprepared, or to delay the attack for six months, but face an even stronger Ukrainian army? They made a decision - it turned out to be bad.
Could the casualties and destruction have been avoided? Don't know.
I perceive only those statements “I should have…” / “Why…?” that take into account at least the main factors.
I asked the experts. They say different things, but agree on one thing: now many are strong in hindsight. Especially those who do not have access to information, and who do not even approximately take into account the main influencing factors. If you base conclusions only on what you like, these are not conclusions, these are slogans.
And the last. What tires me a little is the number of man-rats that have climbed out in recent days and turned Gostomel, Bucha, Borodyanka and others into photo zones. They were gone at the end of February. They were liquidized. Straight terminators, T1000. In March, they began to vote and try to steer the defense. And now these "fathers and mothers of victory" are ready to lead the brigades into battle. Preferably remotely.
Ladies and gentlemen. It is too early. The most difficult is yet to come. It is possible that you will again have to play terminators. Because the enemy is preparing to attack with all his might. There will be a lot of bad news before there is good news. So don't rush, it's a false start.
I have no illusions about what will happen next. In any (!) development of events, even if the Kremlin is burned, the current team of the Ministry of Defense will fall under the rink. These are the laws of the genre. It is important that this does not destroy the long processes that create strategic advantages for the country and ensure self-sufficiency.
The conclusion from all this is that our citizens should learn to LISTEN TO OURS AND TRUST OURS. Not beautiful uncles and aunts who temporarily distinguish Ukraine from Uganda. And theirs. Without this, nothing will happen.
Now the impossible is being done. Both at the front and at the foreign policy/diplomatic level. We are at the epicenter of World War III. Ukraine will win this war only if it looks at things realistically.
We have a huge country. We only have as many refugees in Europe as the population of Croatia. We have already suffered terrible damage and will suffer more. We do not know how these months will come back to haunt our children. And how many people we will be able to return to the country. To get out of all this, recover and move forward, you need complete concentration and a complete absence of self-deception, false goals.
After the victory, we will have a huge weight. And those who are now watching us from peaceful comfortable cities are trying to understand their place in the new world with the new Ukraine. After all, the main feature of "Israel" is that it is prickly and uncomfortable.
Think about it, who benefits from us getting out of this war with an incredible military and moral strength? Who will be happy about this?
Some people "warn" in order to push on the wrong path. Ukraine is now paying with blood to listen only to those "warnings" that are in the interests of the country and its people.
What is happening to our country and our people is a tragedy. I don’t even try to fit the damage and consequences in my head, even as a first approximation. Because it can paralyze the will, but you need concentration on what leads to victory.
But what am I sure of. If there had been capitulation at the end of the year, a civil war would have begun. And then Russia would simply tear us apart. More people would have died. There would be no peaceful Anschluss according to the Belarusian scenario. This is self-deception. "Denazification" would be carried out as carefully as possible.
And we would not have a chance to get the help that we are now in the struggle, but we are gnawing out. We would not have a single chance to get the future for which we are now fighting.
So in the short term, we will have a lot of work and suffering, but strategically this path is correct. He will lead us to victory. And after the victory there will be success and well-being, which we want.