It was right there, in front of our eyes.
The Russian military employs a Soviet era, WW2 verified, strategy. Large encirclements, forming of cul-de-sacs which then turn into the said cauldrons. OK, we established this prior.
Now, maybe inherent for those at the receiving end, comes the response from the inferior forces facing the Russians: aggregate into a tighter and tighter herd.
Like shepherd dogs are gathering the sheep by circling around them, the Russian forces are pushing the Ukrainian ones not only to stick to urban areas, but also to jam geographically, so to speak.
Since the beginning of this either strange or avantgarde war, maybe both, the Ukrainians haven’t managed any move that could describe their stance otherwise than that of herbivores. The sheep grouping together tighter reproduces the general tactic that herbivores attacked by carnivores employ. The strangeness comes from the shepherd dogs role the Russians seem to have adopted.
The passive behavior we witness with the Ukrainian forces has a reasonable explanation. They chose safety. Probably, their ancestors would have chosen some crazy charge instead. I’m pretty sure the Ukrainian commanders anticipated a Russian cautious-not-to-kill-unnecessary offensive. And I’m also pretty sure the Russians bet this passive kind of response would happen.
The Ukrainian approach must have been influenced by the Western false signals they received. Technically inferior, lacking elements from the integrated command and control chain only very few powerful nations possess, the Ukrainians nevertheless had nothing to expect from the safe defensive. Unless they were hoping to stall until help comes. Real help.
Which won’t come. Russians though needed to be certain it won’t.
One proof can be seen on the map, the general picture now emerging with clarity shows the confinement perimeter soon to be locked in place severing any possibility of a ‘Burma road’.
They dropped a hint reminding the cooler heads they are sitting on a devastating nuclear arsenal.
They kept their mouth shut and left the deafening Chinese and Indian abstention votes speak instead.
The ‘whatever we are watching now’ turns with each passing day into a psychological duel of sorts.
I heard the rumor of a withdrawal from Kharkov, towards Kiev apparently. No matter how many will cry out their rage, if something like this happens, it will very much look like the shepherd dogs have finished to gather the sheep and now they’re herding them to a destination of their will.