Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exactly three months ago, the West has focused not on protecting Ukrainian civilians, but on trying to force Russia, with the help of the Ukrainians, to surrender militarily. The „real war in the background“, the economic war, however, is undoubtedly directed against its own populations. In passing, it is stated that NATO will not participate in the war. But it does. The weapons come from the West, only the soldiers from Ukraine and other states. Strictly speaking, the war could not take place at all if no weapons were supplied. Everyone can understand the logic, except those who don’t want to understand it because they pursue self-centered, power-political goals that serve them alone.
Could Putin be aiming for this escalation? If Russian political consultant Alexei Fenenko is to be believed, Russia sees the war in Ukraine as a kind of dress rehearsal for a larger conflict.
Speaking on Russia’s Rossiya 1 TV channel, Fenenko called it a „learning experience for a future conflict“ in which the Russian army would test NATO’s weapons „on the battlefield“ and compare them to its own.
Fenenko holds a Ph.D. in political science, is an associate professor at the Department of International Security at Moscow State University’s Faculty of World Politics, and is an expert at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) think tank, among other organizations.
Fenenko is not the first commentator to repeat on the Rossiya 1 channel the Russian intention that Russia is ridding Ukraine of neo-Nazis and conducting a „special operation“ there.
In late April, Alexei Fenenko had caused a stir by saying that Poland had been planning an invasion of eastern Ukraine since 2014. „Since 2014, the idea has been circulating that the Kiev government can flee there at the last minute and create a fragment of the former Ukraine, which the West will first recognize as legal, and then take away part of the territories from Poland and Hungary,“ the expert said.
But not all experts adhere to Russian rhetoric: last week, military expert and ex-general Mikhail Khodarenok made an unusually frank statement about the war in Ukraine on Russian state television. He said Russia was geopolitically isolated. Reports that the Ukrainian military is weakening are Russian propaganda, he said.
„The situation for us is clearly going to get worse…we are in geopolitical isolation…. the situation is not normal,“ Chodarenok said.
Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday, the Ukrainian president said up to 100 people are killed every day on the eastern front.
From the Russian side, there has been no information on dead or injured for weeks.
German security circles assume that significantly more people have been killed in the Ukraine conflict than officially stated. According to a media report, up to 50,000 soldiers and civilians may have been killed.
The Ukrainian government estimates 1200 soldiers and 5400 civilians killed, the United Nations estimates about 5360 dead.