“War of Attrition” in Ukraine Declared by West may be Trap for Russia

“War of Attrition” in Ukraine Declared by West may be Trap for Russia

Photo: http://ria.ru

The German magazine Der Spiegel predicts that in 2023, because of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia is likely to face a full-scale war with NATO countries. But first, the West is betting on a “war of attrition.”

This is a typical Anglo-Saxon combination – to get the parties to the conflict to seriously exhaust their forces, and then to threaten conflict with NATO and present ultimatums to “twist arms.”

Have you Learned no Lesson?

Meanwhile, such a situation has already happened in history. And more than once. For example, the U.S. was the main beneficiary of both World Wars I and II. Then Washington demonstratively dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to show the whole world “who is in command.” No one dared to protest openly. Europe was weakened by the war, and the Soviet Union lay in ruins, having lost 20 to 30 million of its most able-bodied population.

The Anglo-Saxons played this trick during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. London achieved that the Russian Empire had exhausted its forces on the battlefield, and after that began to “twist arms” and replay the results of the war in their interests.

By the way, there are some parallels between the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and today.

Then the Emperor Alexander II and his court also hoped to swiftly defeat Turkey and liberate Bulgaria before the “pack of comrades” led by London had time to come to their senses. Similarly, they announced a partial mobilization, one and then the other. Similarly, we underestimated the enemy, and the mistakes had to be corrected in the course of military operations, primarily at the expense of the lives of ordinary soldiers.

The lightning ‘Obruchev Plan’ (named after Chief of Staff General N.N. Obruchev) also stalled from the start, as did the military conflict in Ukraine in February and March. As a result, fighting in Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as in the Caucasus lasted from April 1877 to February 1878, seriously depleting the military potential of Russia.

The Russian army was fighting on the Balkan (main) and Caucasus (auxiliary) fronts. By the way, the famous film ‘Bayazet’ based on Valentin Pikul's book of the same name is just about the fighting at the Caucasian front. On the Balkan front, the Russian army had 260,000 troops, against 300,000 in Turkey. At the Caucasian Front 52,500 soldiers, officers and militiamen were involved. The Russian command expected that 20,000 Bulgarians would join the militia, but by the end of the war could increase the number only to 12,000. For comparison, on the Caucasian front, 42,000 people voluntarily joined the militia. It is interesting, who actually needed the liberation of Bulgaria?

“The Russian generals for some reason were seized by the elated mood. Therefore, instead of a general mobilization, only a partial mobilization was launched. As if we were going to fight not with a huge Ottoman Empire, but with the Khanate of Khiva,” wrote Alexander Shirokorad.

War of Attrition and London's Ultimatum

What was the result? The fighting dragged on, and the Russian army in the Balkans and the Caucasus suffered serious losses in manpower and armaments. Yet, having defeated the Turks in the Balkans, the Danube Army went on the offensive against Istanbul. The Turkish troops struck a panicked flight, leaving the road to the capital of the Ottoman Empire open. Then Great Britain’s army appeared on the scene, officially delivering an ultimatum: if the Russian army takes Istanbul, London will declare war on St Petersburg. A British squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral Geoffrey Hornby, consisting of four battleships and a steamship entered the Strait of Dardanelles in the Sea of Marmara and dropped anchor near the Prince's Islands, an hour and a half from the inner harbor of Istanbul. The English Parliament met in emergency session and gave the government an emergency loan of 6 million pounds in case of an armed conflict with St. Petersburg. The British squadron itself could not prevent the Danube Army, but it was a sign from London to the whole world and primarily to St. Petersburg about its readiness to enter the war.

On the contrary, Doctor of History Nikolai Lysenko writes that these “hasty, impulsive measures” clearly showed “that Britain is absolutely not ready for a real war with Russia.”

“The money still had to be used i.e., invested in military production, waited for weapons, and armed with them the infantry formations that still had to be mobilized. All these activities required considerable time – not less than a year, and the Russian troops, flushed with victory, fully prepared for action, were already standing at the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. As to combat capabilities of Hornby squadron, it could have only demonstration effect and would be absolutely useless due to scantiness of available forces and means in a real conflict with the Russian army near Constantinople,” said Lysenko.

According to him, most importantly, the English move worked, because the leaders of the Russian Empire, led by Alexander II, succumbed to London's cunning combination.

“However, Chancellor Gorchakov and, apparently, Emperor Alexander II were not seriously frightened by the British demarche with the Hornby squadron. The Chancellor and the Emperor were still haunted by the specter of Europe united against the Russians, as it was in the events of 1853-1856 during the Crimean War,” said Doctor of History Nikolai Lysenko.

The “allies” also failed. On the eve of the war, St. Petersburg and Vienna signed a secret convention, declaring each other allies. However, at the crucial moment, Austria-Hungary, led by Emperor Franz Joseph, “ditched” Russia and took the side of England and Germany.

What to do? The British kept a close eye on the course of the war and appeared on the scene at the most advantageous moment. Russian units in the Balkans were exhausted by the forcing of the Danube, the siege of Plevna and the defense of the Shipka Pass, too heavy losses and heavy fighting with the Turks. The Anglophile party became active among the Russian elite which sought to convince Alexander II that if Russia refused to comply with the ultimatum, Petersburg would be threatened with international isolation and war against all the “great powers.” Just as they are now scaring the hell out of a conflict with NATO.

In the end Alexander II and his court capitulated, and the Russian army halted a few kilometers from Istanbul. On February 19 (March 3), 1878, the representatives of St. Petersburg and Istanbul signed the Treaty of San Stefano in the small town of San Stefano. By the way, there is a parallel with the Minsk agreements again because Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, having probed the position of London and Vienna and realizing that nothing would happen to him, simply did not comply with this treaty.

Then the Berlin Congress followed, at the end of which the political fruits of the victory went to London, Berlin and Vienna. Taking advantage of the fact that the military campaign in the Balkans was delayed, London played a subtle diplomatic game and formed a powerful European coalition against the Russian Empire. As a result, on the diplomatic battlefield, Austria-Hungary, Britain, Germany, Italy and France presented a united front against Tsarist Russia.

Is History Repeating Itself?

Back in May 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the conflict in Ukraine was turning into a “protracted war of attrition.” In December 2022, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote about it in his column ‘How to avoid another world war,’ which some media called an invitation to U.S. negotiations on Ukraine.

Kissinger wrote bluntly that some elites in the U.S. and the West in general hope that Russia will be “exhausted” because of the fighting in Ukraine. For some, the most preferable outcome is that Russia will become powerless and helpless as a result of the war, according to Kissinger.

For example, former British Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Richard Dannat also wrote in a recent article for The Telegraph that the West should prepare to contain Russia even after the military conflict in Ukraine.

The American Rand Corporation, which prides itself on having the White House as well as U.S. government agencies and intelligence services as its customers, is keeping a close eye on developments “on the ground.” By the way, by the New Year Rand Corporation has prepared a report in which it considers four possible scenarios of escalation, which may lead to a direct conflict between NATO and Russia. That is, the American experts are seriously modeling the options of collision between Russia and NATO.

Samuel Charap of Rand, in an interview with the Ukrainian website Strana, made it clear that Western elites are closely monitoring what kind of losses Russia incurs and what kind of weapons Russia spends in Ukraine. Most importantly, what condition will the Russian Armed Forces be in, if tomorrow there is a conflict with NATO?

At the same time Charap drew attention to an important detail. Indeed, the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine incur losses and expend weapons, but these are not the troops and weapons that NATO fears.

According to him now Russia “does not use all military capacities” trying either to use them sparingly or not to use such armament that might be necessary in the case of a conflict with NATO at all.

Charap elaborated that the serious threats to NATO are Russian aviation, air and space forces, non-strategic nuclear weapons and the navy. Russia, according to Charap, either does not engage them at all or uses them minimally.

“Aviation takes limited part in the war in Ukraine, the Russian Air and Space Forces remain largely uninvolved. If you add to this the approximately 2,000 warheads of non-strategic nuclear weapons, the Navy's capabilities outside the Black Seal, this is a serious threat to NATO,” Charap said.

According to Charap, the Russian Armed Forces infantry and amphibious troops suffered the heaviest losses, and Russia also used up some of its cruise missiles. Charap believes that apart from cruise missiles, “these are not the types of weapons that are supposed to be the most threatening to NATO.”

In addition, the Rand Corporation expert made a prediction that Russia will be weakened after the end of the special military operation in Ukraine. So, the Russian Federation will not attack Poland or any other NATO member.

“The concept of risks in a war with U.S. allies is quite different for the Russian leadership than in the case of Ukraine. That is, it is unlikely that Russia will risk war with the U.S. by attacking its ally after the army is weakened by the war in Ukraine,” said Rand Corporation expert Samuel Charap.

In general, in today's world, it is not enough to win on the battlefield. If Russia, as a result of the military conflict in Ukraine, comes to the finish line “weakened” and “exhausted,” it means that the trap of Washington and London has worked. Historical examples, the opinion of Kissinger and other politicians and experts suggest that the Ukrainian crisis may prove to be only an introduction to the “NATO vs. Russia” series.

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