russia is no longer a military- or economical superpower.
Some thoughts about how russias position in the world has changed since they started their invasion on February 24th.
russia were considered a military super power and there were many expectations that the russian military had changed over the past decade into a more modern fighting force. But after more than 200 days of war it is clear for everyone that the old military hierarchy, the old top down structures were never changed, some soldiers just got new parade uniforms. We see a military which are the product of a kleptocracy, we see soldiers not trained to show any initiative and soldiers who are more prepared for parades then for fighting. We see military equipment malfunctioning and fighter jets with Garmin GPS taped to the cockpit.
Seeing images from the areas where russian soldiers have been we find unorganized camps, a mix of military equipment, shopping bags, no toilet facilities and lots of empty vodka bottles.
At the same time we see a russian economy which is struggling and the sanctions are slowly biting away of russian weatlth. We see russian aircrafts where the “Inop” markings are filling the cockpits (meaning that the instrument is not working). We see their primary sources of income oil/gas declining and we see that some countries cancel military orders, as it is clear the systems do not work proberly. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to drop by over 11%. This would be the largest drop in GDP since the collapse of the Soviet Union
So what is left is a country which no longer is a military superpower, no longer a economic superpower… but still a nuclear power.
Now is the time to deliver long range missiles, modern tanks and anything else Ukraine needs to protect themselves. It is time to impose new and harder sanctions (the gasline is already closed) and it is time to close all the loopholes in current sanctions. It is time to ban russian travelling in Europe and other free countries. It is time to impose sanctions on the companies still operating in russia.
So this mad war can be stopped.
Russia (Russian Empire, USSR, Russian Federation) has never been a military or economic superpower. Both militarily and economically, it relied on Ukraine.
Ukrainian industry and agriculture were the most powerful part of the Russian/Soviet economy. With the collapse of the USSR, Moscow lost it immediately and irrevocably.
Ukraine left the USSR as the eighth or ninth economy in the world. Unfortunately, those who came to power in Ukraine looted that economy, took it offshore or let it go. Moscow played a key role in this process.
The Soviet Armed Forces relied mainly on Ukrainian generals, officers and ensigns (non-commissioned officers). At the time of the collapse of the USSR, there were 320,000 of them in the Soviet Army. All of them wanted to return to Ukraine, but President Leonid Kravchuk refused them, and they kept the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation at bay for another fifteen to twenty years. Now that most of them have retired, Russia has an army that is incapable of anything.
If most of those 320,000 military professionals came back home, Ukraine could have the very most powerful, highly educated, professionally trained and experienced Armed Forces in the entire world. Moscow (especially during the presidency of V. Yanukovych) did everything possible to prevent Ukraine from building a powerful Armed Forces even from what Ukraine actually left the Soviet Union with.
Having Cossack historical experience, despite the obstacles of external and internal enemies, after 2014 Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Ukraine was able to create its brand new Armed Forces, which effectively fights with Russian troops now.
With Ukrainоcentric political leadership, with a strategically thinking president, government and parliament, implementing systemic changes, establishing a social order based on Ukrainian national traditions and customs, in thirty years Ukraine could become one of the most powerful economies in the world. But this did not happen. External and internal enemies have lowered the Ukrainian economy to the level of developing countries, and the prospects for getting out of this state are not yet visible.