Thursday 9th of February 2023

obviously not mad enough..... putin has been too restrained and caring......

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday instituting martial law in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye, and indicated that the heightened security measures are being adopted in the face of Kiev’s “openly terrorist methods,” including the shelling of civilian areas, sabotage attacks, and assassinations of officials.

Moscow’s decision to introduce martial law in its four new territories is designed to counter the increasingly “desperate” tactics deployed by the NATO-backed government in Kiev, and together with other recent measures, should dramatically improve Russia’s warfighting capacity, competency, and performance, a pair of veteran US military affairs experts have told Sputnik.


BY Ilya Tsukanov


“Most military analysts, myself included, have just been scratching our collective heads going, ‘what is going on? Why isn’t Russia performing the way it’s designed to perform? Why is Russia giving Ukraine a chance to function militarily with a level of competence that should never exist at this stage in the conflict?’ Ukraine should not be able to do what it’s doing right now, even with the support of NATO,” Major (ret.) Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and independent military analyst, said in an interview.



“It’s as if Russia allowed the collective West to function at 100% capacity while limiting itself to 40% capacity. And I think right now what we're going to see is that Russia is going to do everything to degrade Ukraine and the collective West’s ability to perform on the battlefield while raising the level of Russian competence and performance to as close to 100% as it can get,” Ritter said.


Emphasizing that the Ukraine crisis has long “gone beyond” being a conflict between Moscow and Kiev, and that it’s actually a confrontation between Russia and the combined might of NATO, the European Union, the United States and its "rules-based international order," Ritter thinks Russia’s leadership has gradually come to realize that the original scale and scope of the special military operation launched in February – using the resources of a peacetime army and designed to maximally preserve Ukrainian infrastructure and lives, was insufficient given the massive level of Western support for Kiev.

Accordingly, whether it be through partial mobilization last month or the introduction of martial law in the border regions Wednesday, “President Putin is simply putting in place the mechanisms necessary to defend Russia properly,” Ritter believes.

Ritter expects the special coordinating council set up alongside the martial law decree to take measures “to ensure that there is a singularity of focus on prevailing, winning the special military operation in as efficient a manner as possible,” including ironing out inefficiencies in the Russian system exposed by partial mobilization, which will “manifest themselves in dead Russians” if not nipped in the bud.

Surprise is That Martial Law Didn’t Come Sooner

Former Pentagon analyst and retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski similarly thinks that martial law is the logical next step for Russia in the face of a series of factors which could motivate an increasingly desperate Kiev to turn to terrorism in the frontline Russian regions.

These factors include waning support for Ukraine among the public in the US and Europe, the looming US midterm elections, which may result in the further slowing of US aid to Kiev, and increasingly “aggressive” and “fantastical” public rhetoric coming from Zelensky and his neocon backers in the wake of Russia’s infrastructure attacks, Kwiatkowski says.



“By definition, terrorism is a tool mainly of the weak against the strong. I was surprised to see that martial law had not been in place during the referenda, because I would have expected that given Western media coverage. I'm surprised that after the attacks on the pipelines and the Bridge to Crimea that it had not already be put in place,” Kwiatkowski said.

The retired US officer expects the stepped up security measures to mean a more visible troop presence and increased vigilance by local residents looking out for attacks, “specifically terrorist-style attacks against non-military targets.” As far as the Donbass is concerned, she doesn’t believe the measures to mean a significant change in civilians’ lives.“The people there have been shelled and under fire, off and on, by the Ukrainian army for nearly a decade, and the militias there are used to low intensity conflict and well-seasoned,” Kwiatkowski said.New BroomThe same cannot be said for the battlefield, the observer says, particularly in light of General Sergei Surovikin’s recent appointment as commander of all forces involved in the Ukraine operation. “The coordination between local and republic militias and police with the Russian Army and Russian battlefield intelligence will quickly improve, and new discipline and seriousness will be introduced…This typically happens in military units and commands when a new boss is assigned. The fact that General Surovikin is the new boss matters as well. As the war shifts into more desperate tactics by Ukraine, and possibly more anger among the people and the militias of [frontline Russian areas] as terror attacks inside their borders occur, his ability to manage any retaliatory responses and coordinate them will become important. I think that is partly what this establishment of martial law is about,” Kwiatkowski said. Ritter similarly expects martial law to “unshackle” commanders at the front and their civilian counterparts in rear areas, allowing them to streamline decision-making, and “focus efforts in a way that is singularly focused on achieving military victory, as opposed to sustaining civil society. This doesn't mean that civilians will be ignored, etc., but it means that the number one priority for the moment is military victory. And that's the importance of martial law.”The observer expects the measures introduced Wednesday to unleash the “totality of conventional Russian military power,” and fears they will have “absolutely devastating effects” for Kiev. 

“What we're going to see now is instead of four disjointed military campaigns, run by four separate military districts, we're going to see a single focused military effort, coordinated by a single military commander who has the full support of the Russian Federation behind him. I think there will be a cumulative effect of this singularity,” Ritter said.




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