The “depletion strategy”: will everything be the same as in the First World War?

Soldiers standing in muddy trenches and trying to destroy each other’s positions with the help of mortars: This fatally reminds me of the bloodshed of World War I, in which the fronts quickly “freeze”, the movement (almost) stopped. and the people involved The Powers no longer rely on the bravery of their troops, but on a “battle of materials.” The decisive factor was which party was able to stay longer from a purely logistical point of view. Through American intervention, supplies to the French and British were never exhausted, while the central powers Germany and Austria-Hungary, but also Russia, were increasingly “hungry” – and immediately lost the war. According to Ukrainian and Russian experts, this grim scenario can now be repeated.

Trench warfare until New Year’s night?

“We will tire of each other. The Russians do not get help from anywhere, while we take artillery and everything they give us from the West,” said Oleksiy Arestovich, 46, head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 44. a. Conversation with the online portal “Medusa”. Arestovich expects the current Russian “offensive” to last “two or three weeks” until about May 9. Every year on this day in Moscow takes place the “Victory Parade”, which commemorates the end of World War II. After that, a trench warfare could threaten “until New Year’s Eve.”

“Russia will try to accumulate more reserves to regularly hold a kind of half-hearted offensive,” predicted Arestovich, the unofficial chief propagandist for the Ukrainian side. By the end of August, Moscow could try to attack elsewhere on the front. “If all this fails, they will try to gather more strength, somewhere in October there will be another attempt. And then it all depends on how the sanctions work, whether new ones will be introduced and how Western aid will flow to Ukraine. ”

Arestovich claims that Russian troops are “terribly over-centralized”, citing a crossroads that Moscow’s top command wants to see invaded as an example: Soldiers have run back there against any tactical logic and suffered terrible losses, simply because of a meaningless order to be followed from above.

After the failure of the current offensive, it will be “trench warfare with sparse, sporadic attempts to capture positions along the front line.” This would correspond very much to the situation between 1915 and the summer of 1918, when German chief strategist Erich Ludendorff, due to the lack of success and growing fatigue of the war, wanted to “knock” the front for weak points, which did not bring. a military advance.

“Exhaustion – this is the war”

So, it can not be a coincidence that the author Maxim Sokolov from the Russian news agency RIA Novosti sees a scenario like 1917, when the October Revolution broke out in Russia, as a result of which the country shamefully withdrew from the First World War. . conditions. According to Sokolov, there were two reasons for the Russian defeat: censorship at the time was very weak and the population was exhausted. In general, Russia was the “weakest link in the chain” of the warring powers at the time.

“Today, compared to a century ago, we have a fairly strong back and a fairly ready army to fight,” Sokolov said, exhausting our opponents, who do not seem to fully understand where their policies are leading. crazy. This would correspond to a kind of “equalization” in the “forgetting” factor. In media policy, on the other hand, Russia is doing some things “better” than it did in 1917. The censorship authority in Roskomnadzor tends to “exaggerate” its decisions instead of lacking the necessary “spice”, such as the authorities in the dying tsar the empire would have done.

“Let us hope that the terrible lesson of the seventeenth year was not in vain and that the passionate dreams of those who hate Russia for our imminent fall remain dreams. We are Russians, God is with us,” the author oracles, quoting directly the motto on the buckles of German soldiers in World War I (“God with us”).

The mutual misunderstandings between the warring nations seem to be similar to those of the First World War. “What is the matter with the Russians? They always make mistakes in interpreting the actions of our Ukraine, because they have absolutely no sense of our mentality,” Arestovich said.

The Russians compare Ukraine to Chechnya

In fact, journalist Maxim Artemyev on the influential Russian portal “News” allegedly declared “Ukrainian nationalism displayed and noisy” as a “temporary phenomenon”. Regarding Chechnya, he argued that separatism once existed there as well – today there is “no region in Russia that is more loyal to the Kremlin”: “Eight years ago, half of Ukraine held completely different values. Then they became a In March 1991, in a completely free referendum, the vast majority of Ukrainians voted in favor of maintaining a unitary state, and nine months later, in December 1991, they voted as their leaders had said: the exact opposite. it can be returned to you by the same simple means. “

Thus Russian authors like Artemyev lack any deeper understanding of Ukraine’s orientation to the west. They see it as pure opportunism imposed by liberal elites. It seems that Russia is facing a very painful learning curve both militarily and politically.

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