Thank you, Thomas Malthaus, for posting the link to this excellent piece by Ambassador Bhadrakumar. The point of his piece in The Tribune is not in the headline–only neocons and Ukrainians exercised a severe delusion that the outcome of SMO could be anything but Russia demolishing political regime in Kiev. No, the importance of this piece is in the fact that India is a very important country and her moves matter in a larger geopolitical scheme of things. Here is what Ambassador Bhadrakumar notes:
The Crimean Bridge attack of October 8 is much more serious. Zelenskyy has crossed a red line that Moscow had repeatedly warned him against. Putin has disclosed that there have also been three terrorist attacks against the Kursk NPP. Russians will settle for nothing less than the ouster of the Zelenskyy regime. Russia’s retaliation against Ukraine’s ‘critical infrastructure’, something Moscow refrained from so far, has serious implications. Since October 9, Russia has begun systematically targeting Ukraine’s power system and railways. Noted Russian military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia that if this tempo was kept up for a week or so, it ‘will disrupt the entire logistics of the Ukrainian military — system for transporting personnel, military equipment, ammunition, related cargo, as well as the functioning of military and repair plants.’ The Americans are cocooned in a surreal world of their self-serving narrative that Russia ‘lost’ the war. In the real world, though, Ivan Tertel, KGB chief in Belarus, who has an insider view of Moscow, said last Tuesday that with Russia boosting its troop strength in the war zone — 3 lakh troops who have been mobilised plus 70,000 volunteers — and the deployment of advanced weaponry, ‘the military operation will enter a key phase. According to our estimates, a turning point will come in the period from November of this year to February of next year.’
This is an important framework as seen from India by definitely a large portion of India’s elite which Ambassador Bhadrakumar is the part of. And here he gets into the implications and ramifications for India.
Policy-makers and strategists in Delhi should make a careful note of the timeline. The bottom line is, Russia is looking for an all-out victory and will not settle for anything less than a friendly government in Kiev. Western politicians, including Biden, understand that there is nothing stopping the Russians now. The US’ weapon kitty is running dry as Kiev keeps asking for more. When asked whether he’d meet Biden at the G20 in Bali, Putin derisively remarked on Friday, ‘He (Biden) should be asked whether he is ready to hold such negotiations with me or not. To be honest, I don’t see any need, by and large. There is no platform for any negotiations for the time being.’ However, Washington has not yet thrown in the towel and the Biden administration remains obsessed with exhausting the Russian military — even at the cost of Ukraine’s destruction. And, for the Russians too, there is still much to be worked out on the battlefield: the oppressed Russian populations in Odessa (which suffered unspeakable atrocities from the neo-Nazis), Mykolaiv, Zaporizhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov are expecting ‘liberation’. It’s a highly emotive issue for Russia. Again, the overarching agenda of ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’ of Ukraine must be taken to its logical conclusion.
The fact that some people in Washington still reside in the military-political La-La Land is not news, what is news is the fact that Russia, the more SMO goes on, will have increasingly little need to arrange anything with the United States at all and especially so with the Biden Administration–military logic dictates now everything else. Yes, I think many Russia’s actions in 404 have been timed to both energy catastrophe and US Mid-terms and we can observe now that this calculus was correct. Ambassador Bhadrakumar concludes with this:
India should expect the defeat of the US and NATO, which completes the transition to a multipolar world order. Sadly, Indian elites are yet to purge their ‘unipolar predicament’. Europe, including Britain, is devastated and there is palpable discontent over the US’s ‘transatlantic leadership’. Indo-Pacific strategy is hopelessly adrift. New power centres are emerging in India’s extended neighbourhood, as the OPEC’s rebuff to Washington shows. A profound adjustment is needed in the Indian strategic calculus.
It is difficult to disagree and it is important that Ambassador’s voice is heard among India’s decision makers. Meanwhile,
Kiev’s air defense is no match for modern both loitering munitions and cruise missiles.