Thanks to missed opportunities on the part of its allies during 2023, Ukraine’s Liberation Campaign will almost certainly last well into next year, if not longer.
This means an ongoing threat of escalation into something approaching a Third World War. It also ensures that tens of thousands more people will die on both sides before Ukraine restores its 1991 borders and Putin falls.
The good news is that progress has been unceasing on every front, Ukraine’s fight steadily expanding across domains to place Putin’s entire military system under threat.
News broke today that long-range cruise missiles struck the heart of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, smashing a drydock facility serving a landing ship used to ferry supplies and — better yet — one of the submarines Moscow uses to lob cruise missiles deep into Ukraine. This city is the beating heart of Crimea, and should have been guarded by multiple layers of air defenses sufficient to ward off a reported 10 cruise missiles, likely Storm Shadows launched by Su-24 bombers.
Of course, a few weeks back one of the vaunted S-400 surface to air missile systems guarding the peninsula was whacked by a combo hit from Ukrainian special forces and a converted anti-ship missile set to go after land targets. The resulting gap in the ruscist air defense network must not have been adequately closed — a sign of more hits yet to come.
Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive was never meant to be a single campaign waged against Putin’s orcs in Zaporizhzhia. It, as a number of excellent writers like Mick Ryan, Timothy Snyder, and Phillips OBrien have also been arguing for months now in the face of constant negging from US pundit-experts with zero experiene of war, is part of a much bigger plan.
This June marked the moment when Ukraine no longer saw itself as defending its territory, but striking back to liberate everything Putin stole. This is the Return of the Jedi and Book Five of Lord of the Rings wrapped into one.
It’s important to keep in mind that fictional narratives usually cut out all the boring and redundant elements. Every major victory in the Second World War on every side was a result of months of planning and preparation that pitted two complex adaptive systems against each other until one ran out of energy and collapsed.
And winning a single battle or campaign didn’t end the war — warfare involves thousands, sometimes…