All eyes were on Russia as it celebrated its Victory Day on May 9. There are intelligence that Russia will declare an end to the war while others say that Russia will declare an all-out war. All these talks sound ridiculous as the war will not end just because Russia declares an end to the war. After all, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an ‘all-out war’ while emphasizing a hardline policy in his speech at Victory Day celebrations.
Many think that Ukraine should make reasonable concessions since the war is spreading pain and fear around the world. However, Russia has not taken control of the Kherson-Crimea-Donbass regions and it is not a way to end the war, either. If Russia invades Ukraine again two to three years later based on the territory they acquired this time, the fate of Ukraine will be like a lamp before the wind.
The declaration of an all-out war is meaningless. Even if Russia issues an mobilization order, there is no guarantee that the Russian forces will be able to change for the better within six months. Economic sanctions do not have the desired, immediate effect. Considering Russia’s unique economic and national characters, it might be able to survive for a very long time if it can revive the spirit of the Soviet era because at least it has bread and fuel. However, strengthening the national defense is a distant dream in this condition.
Russia has already missed the time to make wise and rational choices. So nobody knows the end any more. There is only one clear lesson. Before the war, the Russian military was feared by many. There were many people, who argued that the Russian military had been undervalued from the Cold War era due to prejudices.
Unlike the time of the Eastern Front of the World War ll, the modern Russian military was considered a top-class military with weapons of enormous quantity and performance. However, they turned out to be sloppy in many ways. In terms of military power, troops and weapons are important yardsticks. These yardsticks count when deciding global military ranking. But what is more important than ranking is one’s actual capability. Rankings do not always guarantee one’s capability. Maybe this is the lesson we should learn from the war.