February 7, 2015 by AK
Apparently, some Europeans are scared to death of Putin (quoting from a piece in The Guardian that seems to have been taken offline):
“Focusing merely on weapons could add fuel to the conflict and rather lead us away from a desired solution,” the German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said at a security conference in Munich on Friday. “There are already far too many weapons in Ukraine. Supply to the separatists is potentially unlimited.”
Weapons don’t fight by themselves. The supply of combatants from Russia to Donbass is not unlimited. How many men has Russia lost in the conflict? Some say several thousand. The official count of Soviet soldiers killed in Afghanistan is 13,000 over 10 years. Even if only a thousand have been killed since the start of the Donbass war in April, the daily rate of casualties would be close to the 1979-89 war, and Russia has only half the USSR population.
War is also a rather expensive business, as is feeding disaster areas like Donbass. It may not have registered with the Kremlin yet, but Russia’s economy is shrinking and a large-scale war won’t revitalize it. I have argued that this downturn could be unprecedentedly painful for large socioeconomic groups in Russia.
Finally, despite all the Goebbelsian propaganda from the Kremlin, few people in Russia are prepared to accept a full-scale war with Ukraine because it would be fratricide. At the moment, Moscow puppet media are trying to paint the Ukrainian forces as an patchwork of ultranationalist berserkers. It cannot work for long. Imagine a land war with a front line a thousand miles long and mostly Russian speakers with Ukrainian and Russian names on one side and Russian speakers with Russian and Ukrainian names on the other.