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Ukraine's Clocks: Has the Peace Clock Begun to Tick?

Austin Bay on

Though they "tick" at different rates, several notional clocks symbolizing intertwined military, diplomatic and information warfare "lines of operation" run simultaneously in Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine. Real world actions and effects (destruction, death, perhaps rational mediation) speed or slow the clocks. At least one of these clocks may offer a route to a ceasefire and perhaps a grim peace.

Russian Devastation is a hideous clock. Documented on cellphone video, hour by hour Russian air and artillery attacks hammer Ukrainian cities. Having failed to win quickly, Vladimir Putin's Kremlin now seeks a victory of the graveyard by reducing Ukrainian homes to rubble. Putin sends this message: Submit or I'll decimate Ukraine brick by brick. As long as this clock ticks, Ukraine bleeds.

Putin's devastation gambit is his brutal response to a clock he didn't expect: Ukraine's Operational Victory clock, a short-lived clock. Ukrainian tactical military successes produced an operational-level victory in Kyiv and northern Ukraine, forcing an embarrassing, conflict-shaping Russian withdrawal.

Putin expected his war to last at most three weeks. Ukraine, however, defeated initial special operations forces assaults on Kyiv -- tactical wins ruining Russia's timetable. Very likely the raiders had orders to kill or capture President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Bottom line: on the first day of invasion elite Russian troops failed to surprise or defeat Ukrainians.

Meanwhile, Russian tank and armored infantry columns invaded Ukraine on multiple axes (multiple directions), with Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Mariupol key targets for the Kremlin's battle groups.

Using sophisticated anti-tank weapons, portable air defense missiles, and tactics honed fighting Russian proxies in the Donbas, Ukrainian forces isolated road-bound Russian vehicles. Then they coolly cut to pieces entire Russian battalions -- a remarkable "defeat in detail." The tactics also inflicted heavy casualties on Russian forces elsewhere in Ukraine, particularly in the north.

 

The Kyiv victory has diplomatic significance -- for the moment.

The Narrative Warfare Clock: Vlad thought he owned the propaganda war. For 20 years he groomed and goaded the Russian people to prepare to fight a major war to rebuild the Russian Empire. His pitch included these gems: NATO threatened Russia. Nazis run Ukraine.

However, imagery of fleeing Ukrainian mothers and children and photos of destroyed homes globally challenge Putin's threat propaganda. Captured Russian soldiers say they were told they were going on maneuvers in Belarus, not attacking Ukraine.

Hard evidence documents war crimes committed by Russian soldiers against Ukrainian civilians, the Bucha executions being a hideous example.

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Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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