The Ukrainian counteroffensive is approaching.
About a month ago, based on my calculations and reasoning, after a detailed study of 10 known unknowns affecting the possible development, I suggested that it would start in early May, most likely around May 4th. At the moment, the rains and the ground not being dry enough may possibly delay the start, but this delay of the counter-offensive should not be more than a week, ten days at most. Excessive stalling at the start depletes the psychological resources of the counter-attackers and gives time to the rashists to continue with defensive equipment and measures.

Western intelligence agencies are increasingly skeptical about the success of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. This is expected. It is an old tradition that they fail in their predictions. After we know that they could not predict the end of the socialist system and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and systematically from the 1950s to the 1990s they greatly overestimated the economic potential of the USSR (in particular GDP) and its military power , so what more can we say about them.
On the one hand, Western services are used to telling political leaders what they, the leaders, want to hear;
on the other hand, the services constantly exaggerate the power of the enemy in order to receive additional funding;
on the third hand, they reason by analogy and believe that the expenditure of the allocated funds in the adversary countries produces the same end product as in the West, omitting, in particular, both the mismanagement of the adversary processes and the colossal corruption;
and fourthly, it is better for them to give a negative prognosis, and if the result is positive, in the tumult and euphoria of that result, their ears are less likely to be pulled; than if they give an overly positive forecast, and something bad happens, it would mean that there would be very radical administrative conclusions and heavy sanctions against them.
So, at least personally, the skeptical predictions about the Ukrainian successes of the Western special services do not bother me.

In the retirement solitude of my office, I try to make my own analyzes and predictions based on:
publicly available information (I practically have no other),
accumulated knowledge,
many years of experience and
research intuition.
I'm looking at different scenarios and trying to figure out for myself which one is the most likely.
I admit that it is inevitable that the subjective factor intervenes – my categorically pro-Ukrainian attitude towards the war. But I try not to give in to a degree of wishful thinking that distorts my conclusions.

So, I think the most likely scenario is that of a very successful Ukrainian counteroffensive. If the Ukrainians had received F-16s, the war could have been over by October of this year. But the West committed a terrible sin for its own moral values and principles. He does not allow such a sin for the first time. Let us recall the constant postponement of the opening of the Second Front in the war against fascism, which extended it by at least a year and a half and increased the casualties and destruction in it by at least 25%.
I will say it again, however – the West has done everything necessary to support Ukraine militarily. Another issue is that he didn't do enough. Alas!
This is what we have as West, and we have no other West.

To say it again, to me the most likely scenario is a very successful Ukrainian counter-offensive.
I can cite 7 key factors of strategic importance that contribute to what I expect to be a definite Ukrainian success in the counter-offensive. I will not list them in order of importance, because to do that I need a proper system of criteria.

The first factor is the far more modern weaponry that Ukraine now has at its disposal. It guarantees the application of crushing military force which, if the directions of the first blows are properly chosen, can crush the rashists where that power falls upon them and make the War a one-door game against the defenseless opponent.

The second factor is the huge superiority of the Ukrainian generals over the rashist generals – both in strategic thinking, and in intellect, and in vision, and in immediate knowledge of all the details of the situations on the battlefields.

The third factor is the way in which the two countries fight—
in Ukraine, it is the network-centric war of the 21st century, based on information and communication superiority;
with the rashists, it is their eternal conduct of wars as in the 17th century – not with skill, but with numbers, without sparing the lives of soldiers, considering soldiers and officers as expendable material and hence overwhelming the enemy with corpses, evaluating actions of the generalship as successful according to how many killed among the military units commanded by him are given – if there are many victims, then the assessment is positive.

The fourth factor is political leadership. Here
we have revealed incredible personal qualities of the leader of Ukraine, a person who lives daily with the problems of Ukrainians – civilians and military, with worries about life in the settlements and about the situation at the front;
and with the rashists we have a cowardly psychopath living in a bunker and perceiving things in his parallel reality, a war criminal, a dictator who despises his own people and sees ordinary people as manure on which to breed his maniacal ambitions for a key place in History. No one is going to fight a name war over such a psychopath. It is not for nothing that in Russia they secretly say that instead of Za rodinu, za Stalina! (For Motherland, for Stalin!), now the fighters are saying - for Urodinu Putina! (for freak Putin).

The fifth factor is the motivation of the two warring armies in particular and the two countries in general.
Ukrainians defend their own freedom and independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They show astonishing levels of patriotism and self-sacrifice.
The rashists do not know what they are fighting for and they are only fighting because the multi-million repressive brutality of the many different power structures hangs over them, plus legislation that grows darker and more brutal every day.

The sixth factor is the diminishing fear of the possibility of Putin using nuclear weapons. The impending victories of the Ukrainian armed forces on the battlefield and the inability of the rashists to stop their counter-offensive will be accompanied by Putin's powerlessness to do anything to change the course of the War. There will be widespread reassurance that all of his threats to use nuclear weapons was just verbal blackmail – and that it is only blackmail will be increasingly clear after every major defeat, such as the destruction of the Crimean bridge. People, and most importantly the politicians in the West, will constantly say to themselves – here, even now he did not dare to do anything! And he will not dare, because the use of nuclear weapons will be his physical end. Putin will be destroyed if he resorts to a nuclear strike, and he, as a pathetic coward, understands this best.
It is difficult to even imagine how quickly and dynamically the world will be freed from the fear of a nuclear strike by Putin. Although actually scarier, as I always say, than this fear is the fear of this fear. The fear of this fear has until now paralyzed large parts of Western political elites and Western societies
Not to mention that the very thought of Putin – whether or not to launch a nuclear strike, will be the final straw for the patience of those forces in Russia – oligarchs, Chekists, military, police, who have already written off Putin, but each one group of them hopes some other group will liquidate or at least overthrow the dictator.

The seventh factor is actually the most underestimated in the analyzes of Western services and Western high-ranking politicians – namely, the processes inside Russia itself.
These are processes
of paralyzing the economy,
of financial exhaustion,
of the collapse of the industrial, transport, healthcare, educational and social infrastructure, because there are no technological and repair possibilities for its maintenance,
of silent rebellion and malicious sabotage among significant sections of the population,
of the growth of organized crime – nearly 15 thousand hardened criminals have already returned to Russia armed to the teeth after their participation in the war, hating the rich, hating those living peacefully as if there was no war in which they shed blood, peaceful citizens.
Russia at the moment is like the example I gave another time – the one about the pile of sand.
You pour in handfuls of sand, the pile grows, but at some point, whether you add a handful or a grain of sand, and the pile starts collapsing into avalanches. As when it will collapse depends not on what you finally poured – a handful or a grain of sand – but on the state of the internal stresses in the pile.
A grain of sand can topple the pile "Russia";
a spark can start a fire in the barn "Russia";
a pebble can overturn the cart "Russia"t...
Nothing good is waiting for Russia and Russians – their country is already suffering from the sanctions, but it is already clear that a corrupt, force-ruled country, from which at least 2 million talented and enterprising people have fled, in which the lower strata of the people are demoralized, alcoholic, neurotic and marginalized, it cannot hold out for too long when it has a powerfully belligerent Ukraine against it and a wholly supportive collective West.

I am aware that every single other scenario that has at least some probability of happening could become possible. During such a War, whole flocks of Black Swans fly over the world, the continent and the region – unexpected and difficult to predict events, the consequences of which, if they happen, can be catastrophic.
And yet, on the basis of above all rational analysis and reasoning, I allow myself to predict as the most likely and therefore the most possible, precisely the scenario of a convincing military victory of the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

I hope what will actually happen will prove that with this forecast, I was even quite moderate in my optimism, because everything could have developed much faster.
One morning we may be woken up by the media with the news that Putin has been deposed and liquidated, or for now his fate is unknown. Putin can be withdrawn "at his own will in connection with the deterioration of his health".
And why not even what I predicted a year ago - to happen in Russia
The Big Bang (explosion of the State from the inside out); or
The Big Collapse (implosion of the State from the outside in)...



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