What will the West do to keep and prolong the usual status quo?

Irina Alksnis

A few hours after official statements by the United States and European countries about the supply of Western tanks to Ukraine – German Leopards, American Abr-ams, British Challengers – Politico reported that the next step was already being discussed on the sidelines: providing Kiev with modern fighters.
Sources told reporters that the West is deliberately increasing military supplies to Kiev gradually, so as not to “cause a powerful reaction from Russia.” One of the unnamed diplomats explained that “many countries in the West believe that if we supplied Ukraine with all the equipment they asked for from us at the first stage of the war, then there would be a strong reaction from Russia, including nuclear.”
This means that, according to the West, Russia has at its disposal one and only tool for a “powerful reaction” – nuclear weapons. Since it is fatal, its use is refrained from – all over the world – for reasons of common sense. This is truly the last argument of kings, the use of which is reserved until a completely hopeless situation. Accordingly, the West’s strategy towards Moscow is to boil the frog slowly, that is, to raise the degree of confrontation step by step, without giving it the feeling that this is the end and all that remains is to press the red button.
We must pay tribute, this is a very competent approach. But there is a problem: Russia is just as slowly cooking the West itself – and has achieved serious success in this process.
The scandals and squabbles within NATO that accompanied the decision to supply tanks to Kiev were not staged at all. There are enough forces in the West that realize how bad and dangerous the current development of events is for it. The phrase alone “German tanks will fight in Ukraine against the Russians” refers to such depths of national memory (both ours and Europeans) that at the level of the subcortex intelligibly conveys the qualitative changes that have taken place in the conflict.
But it’s not just the tanks. Ukraine was supposed to become an ideal hybrid war for the West – and at some point it seemed that it even became one. Ukrainians are excellent soldiers who can be put to the last man. No pity. At the same time, it was assumed that they would fight on the old Soviet equipment, which were just mountains both in Ukraine itself and in a host of other countries, especially in Eastern Europe. It would be left to NATO to provide intelligence and modern means of communication, as well as, if necessary, replenishment with mercenaries and some financial injections.
According to the original plan, in Ukraine, Moscow was to overstrain in all respects – first, incurring huge losses during the hostilities, and then gaining control over the destroyed and devastated (both war and three decades of mismanagement) territories. Moreover, the farther to the west, the more anti-Russian the population is, it would demand to feed it and at the same time would launch a permanent sabotage war (also with the active, but mostly unofficial support of Europe and the United States).
The development of the SVO made adjustments to these plans. Its extremely unhurried move and some successes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the autumn offensive gave rise to confidence among the Western establishment that Russia could be inflicted a purely military defeat. And this idea was seized with both hands.
The West has bet everything on this outcome and is now dealing with the consequences of its decision.
He was forced to take Ukraine to the full content, because it did not have its own economy. Against the backdrop of trillion-dollar bubbles in world markets and a printing press at hand, this is not a very large cost, but we are still talking about many billions – such large-scale expenses were clearly not included in the original plans, and in a situation of a growing economic crisis, they can become sensitive.
Soviet military equipment and individual samples of the old foreign ones are over. The idea of supplying “Leopards”, “Abrams” and other modern Western equipment is bad in every respect: and because it’s expensive; and because one has to empty one’s own reserves, often already visibly laid bare; and because it is not known whether this technique can adequately show itself against Russian troops and in the local climatic conditions (if not, this will be a strong blow to the reputation of manufacturers and, as a result, to their business prospects); and because the ability to quickly train qualified Ukrainian crews is questionable, which means that they will have to send their own “retirees” to Ukraine; and because the fig “proxy” sheet of the West’s war against Russia will finally slip.
But now another, in the future, the biggest headache is becoming more and more acute: the West has begun to run out of Ukrainians. Information is coming from all over Ukraine about the deployment of the next wave of mobilization, and by much more stringent methods than before. The country’s mobilization reserve is close to exhaustion. Experts unanimously believe that another 200-300 thousand people will probably be able to gather, but that’s all. Absolutely everything.
This means that in a few months (by summer or autumn) the West will face a problem in full growth: it will simply have no one to fight with. And he will have to make a much more difficult decision than the current one with the Leopards and Abrams: either admit defeat by abandoning Ukraine, like Afghanistan a year and a half ago, or officially send his own armies to war with Russia.
The trouble is that the West cannot admit its failure and Moscow’s victory without catastrophic consequences for itself.
We have repeatedly said, including at the highest state level, that for Russia the current confrontation is of an existential nature, the very existence of our country is at stake.
However, the West is in a similar position. His situation is much more complicated than just the destruction of the unipolar world or even the crisis of the global dollar system. The half-thousand-year-old system of Western dominance over the world has come close to its final exhaustion (primarily resource and economic). Half a thousand years of the West being in the status of the king of the mountain – the most developed, the richest, the most powerful, the most prosperous, the freest, in general, the very, very part of the planet. And all this is slipping through your fingers.
What will the West do to keep and prolong the usual status quo? There is a suspicion that everything.
He chose military victory over Russia as the instrument of his salvation. Now the West is rolling along the chosen track and is getting more and more nervous, because events are not unfolding the way they expected, planned and wanted. Soon he will have to answer the question of whether he is ready for a face-to-face meeting on the Ukrainian battlefield of the Wehrmacht, that is, excuse me, the Bundeswehr, and other NATO armed forces with the Russian army.