No, it’s not self-irony, unfortunately. The title is an allusion to Proust’s In search of lost time. A bit too ad litteram now, I admit, yet most likely bitterly adequate twenty years in the future.
My take is that the war in Ukraine ultimately makes no sense if read in a military key. No matter how clever in splitting hairs military analysts are, it became obvious Kremlin holds a strong grip on the reins of the military and uses the grip often.
The oscillations noticed at the political decision level are increasingly poorly masked by those at the military decision level.
Kremlin wants to keep all options open and that is impossible. Worse, maybe Kremlin really doesn’t know what it wants.
When you decided to start the invasion with the manifest intention to leave clawless a danger which was growing for years, when you are painfully aware you are facing the whole West, when you decided the status quo was untenable and a new configuration is necessary, one expects you set an achievable goal and you endeavor to achieve it. Russia gives the impression it is still searching for a goal.
The Western narrative wants us to believe Russia encountered an unexpected resistance and now hesitates. And the narrative works. Every Russian strange behavior on the battlefield is immediately exploited and, in response, the Russians come forth only with intentions and projections.
Russia was also pushed into a corner regarding the losses. Not theirs, but the Ukrainian ones. How can Russia maintain the assertion that the war intended to spare Ukrainian lives, both civilian and military, when the only strategy Russian military employs that clearly works is to massively destroy Ukrainian forces under artillery and missile fire? It can’t. It only makes the high level indecision easier to observe.
Russia didn’t succeed with a speedy strike aimed to bring the Kiev regime to collapse quickly. Now we are let to believe it is going to… in the American shock and awe way, go figure ! Russia didn’t succeed with keeping Ukrainian losses at a minimum. Now they surely antagonized a lot of Ukrainians. Another Western victory paid in Slavic blood, another botched good intention when dreams and poetry entered in contact with a rather predictable reality.
Russia is still promoting the ‘we want the (extended) Donbass-only’ story when everybody knows it can’t win without removing Z & co or occupying Ukraine, which is about the same thing when you know their puppeteers’ MO.
What purpose serves all this Proustian nonsense? None. Probably it will only bring more killing and destruction in the end.
If Russia has set a goal in Ukraine, it better reveal it. World is way past the static cold war type diplomacy and it’s going to get even more frenzy. Russia is at war on a much larger scale, but if the battle for Ukraine ends in a Kherson or Lyman type retreat then why did she start it in the first place !?
If Russia has no goal and just goes with the wind, considering who’s grinning behind the Biden-Harris oddity… God help us !
I said Proust ? Hmmm, the Russians (and not only) may find themselves Waiting for Godot instead, if they have so much time on their hands.