As the Russian military slowly begins to carve out a “Novorussiya” in the Donbas, and the Russian Academy of Sciences has been tasked with publishing a history of “Novorussiya” – and perhaps if ferreting around in historical documents of Catherine The Great, they may discover a map that will cover a region that The Kremlin feels if can not only carve out, but ultimately control and police thereafter, without too much difficulty.
Overextension would create unnecessary problems. Thus the question arises – Just how much The Kremlin does believe it can effectively control and police amongst a Ukrainian population that no longer subscribes to the “one people” or mythical “Russian soul” rhetoric espoused by The Kremlin?
Can it effectively control and police more than the immediate strategic priorities of Mariupol, Volnovakha, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, Lisichansk/Rubezhnoye/Severodonetsk region and lastly Luhansk?
Can the Russian Academy of Sciences produce a map of “Novorussiya” that will match the real – rather than ideological – abilities of The Kremlin amongst what will generally be, and remain, a hostile Ukrainian society?
Will the Donbas become a consolidated bridgehead for a year or so, before pushing on into the rest of whatever any Russian Academy of Sciences history of “Novorussiya” will create?
When The Kremlin reaches the limits of what it considers its abilities to effectively control and police, there are questions thereafter for Ukraine and the West.
How to contain, and when ready, drive back a wholly false creation unrecognised by their respective governments and international institutions?
The West may decide to arm Ukraine, but that is a matter of bilateral foreign policy and nothing to do with the EU unless there are EU embargoes in place. Individual sovereign nations could already be arming Ukraine if they had the desire to do so.
Sanctions will stay – and grow. Damage over time to the Kremlin will accumulate. The fighting will continue, either legalised with the army and volunteer battalions, or via extralegal partisans (and there is no guarantee partisans will decide to continue to keep the fight solely on the Ukrainian side of the border with Russia when so much inviting infrastructure to go at in Russia).
The British are calling for Russia to be kicked out of the SWIFT banking system, which would have tremendous impact almost immediately on Russia. That said, it won’t fly with the all the other EU Members.
In short it is a public statement of extreme action by the UK that they know will never actually happen – no different from the strategic voting seen at the UN where nations are seen to vote seemingly against their own national interests in the full knowledge that a veto will be thrown down by somebody else, but they are seen to be doing the right thing, or do so to curry favour with others for voting that way.
Next week at the NATO Summit the UK will announce a Joint Expeditionary Force made up of the UK, the Baltics, Poland, Holland, Norway, Denmark and Canada – no USA – which would give the appearance of a “European theatre” coalition of the willing NATO group, within NATO. However, whilst that may seem to be its orientation within the context of Baltic fears and the Ukrainian war, it has a distinctly “Arctic” look about it too – where Russia is becoming aggressive due to oil and gas claims. Clearly the UK and Holland are involved for their BP and Shell interests and others have direct claims on the Arctic.
Would such coalitions of the willing be extended to “partner nations” and will Ukraine become a “partner nation” once it sheds it official non-aligned status – something that quite possibly will occur in the imminent future?
Whilst all parties appear to have goals and tactics – there appear to be no strategies as yet.
Will any be formulated and effectively implemented by party?