(Article by Paul Craig Roberts republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org)
The “Demilitarization” of Ukraine has been precisely the Russian mentality in Ukraine. Their foremost objective, from the very beginning, as explicitly articulated by President Vladimir Putin in his historic speech of February 24, 2022, was to “demilitarize” Ukraine – to destroy its army.
When the war began, the most capable, experienced, well-armed, and well-positioned Ukrainian forces were NOT in Kiev, but in the Donbass and Mariupol. They had been positioning there for months, with the ultimate objective of retaking the Donbass and Crimea – a goal never far from the minds of Ukraine’s ideological and political leaders.
Indeed, they spoke of it openly and without qualification. They strongly believed the strength of their armed forces, after eight years of preparation, had reached a point where it was capable of actually achieving that objective.
Their benefactors in NATO encouraged them to believe this – for it was also NATO’s fondest dream to raise its banners over the naval base at Sevastopol, and thereby wield dominance over the entire Black Sea and the Bosporus.
Pursuant to this and many other geostrategic objectives – arresting Russian resurgence foremost among them – NATO had been providing arms to Ukraine for years, and those arms shipments were expanded and accelerated dramatically in late 2021.
Tens of thousands Ukrainian troops had been trained in the use of these NATO armaments. And, as was known to anybody paying even casual attention, thousands of western intelligence operatives, special forces, and mercenary contractors (predominantly American, British, and French – and lots of them) were embedded with front-line Ukrainian forces, where several have since been killed or captured, and a substantial contingent still remains.
Many of these western troops are there primarily to coordinate the reception, interpretation, and “actionable” use of highly prized and even more highly classified US/NATO “ISR” (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) data.
The Mother of All Proxy Armies
The army the US/NATO built in Ukraine, by the beginning of 2022, had swelled to become the largest and best-armed land force in Europe. By almost every metric, it was more potent than the combined armies of Germany, France, and Italy.
European Land Forces – 2022
The Ukrainian military was purpose-built to serve the interests of the American Empire in its long-established goal to cripple Russia and prevent it from ever again being able to wield global influence; to effect its ultimate dismemberment and reduce it to a faint fragment of its former status and glory – to realize the geopolitical objective expressed in the popular cold-war-era board game RISK, which erased Russia from the world map.
The Russian decision to invade Ukraine in late February 2022 was motivated by and predicated upon all of these factors in aggregate, and was hastened by the widespread Ukrainian artillery strikes on the Donbass region that had commenced weeks previously.
To destroy this powerful “Mother of All Proxy Armies” which the United States and its NATO partners had methodically constructed on its borders was, logically and manifestly, Russia’s foremost objective.
There was no other.
The elimination of this substantial threat on their literal doorstep was understandably viewed by the Russians as an existential imperative.
Destroying the Mother of All Proxy Armies
And, in order to best achieve that objective, they effected a classic Russian stratagem to impede the possibility of the forces in northern Ukraine from reinforcing those in eastern and southern Ukraine once the fighting began.
THIS is why they conducted the elaborate “feint and fix” operation in and around Kiev.
And, all things considered, it worked perfectly.
That said, it is essential to understand that the greatest and most effective feints must be convincing. And, to be convincing, they very often risk being costly. The best feints are based on a cost/benefit analysis whose “benefit” often represents the foremost objective of a war.
In the case of the feint and fix operation in Kiev, there was a substantial cost – although it was not nearly as costly as western war propagandists have sought to portray it. This is because much of the feint consisted of demonstrations of intent, rather than concrete actions.
Read more at: PaulCraigRoberts.org