Putin's response to the West's pursuit of World War III
Russia does not have the luxury of losing this war, because in this case, the Western powers will not stop at the Ukrainian-Russian borders, but will launch strikes deep inside Russia, mainly in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
In an article by the Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin entitled “The Latest Developments of the War in Ukraine”, he considered that the world is on the verge of a third world war that the West is pushing for with great determination. He stressed that Russia is currently at war with The West in general, a war that might turn into a nuclear war, especially since US generals such as the former commander of the US forces in Europe Ben Hodges and the commander of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, openly declare that the goal of the West is not only to push Russia to withdraw completely from Ukraine, but that what they want is an unconditional surrender, that would lead to the dismantlement of the way it happened with the Soviet Union in 1991 after its defeat in the Cold War.
Russia angry with the West
What came in Dugin’s article does not appear to have been taken off the rails, but rather an echo of what is going on in the Kremlin’s corridors between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian political and military leaders, which explains the recent steps taken by the Russian President, that the West interpreted as an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Putin is fed up with the continued Western support for Ukraine against Russia, especially after the recent surprise Ukrainian attack, which led to Kiev's forces seizing large areas around Kharkov from the Russian forces, something that would not have been possible without Western logistical and intelligence support for the Ukrainian side.
This is added to the continuing attempts by the Kiev forces to target the nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye in an attempt to cause a nuclear catastrophe that would shock the world and cause great damage to the Ukrainian and Russian lands. This prompted Putin to declare that the West has crossed all lines in its hostile policy against Russia, arguing that Kiev has obtained an order to undermine the peaceful resolution proposals repeatedly put forward by Moscow to end the conflict in Ukraine. For his part, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared that Russia is not only at war with Ukraine, but with the entire West.
Annexation of Russian-speaking regions
This was considered a prelude to Putin signing a decree declaring partial mobilization in the Russian Federation, according to which Russian citizens with previous military experience or with a specific level of training are required to join combat operations in Ukraine. This decision coincides with Putin's decision to move the special military operation in Ukraine to the stage of "protecting Russia's sovereignty" against the West. This comes in anticipation of the Ukrainian forces targeting Russian-speaking areas in Ukraine after their planned annexation to Russia following the referendum. The candidate regions for joining Russia are Lugansk and Donetsk, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.
Putin has openly declared that Russia will resort to all means to protect its territory, including the use of weapons of mass destruction. These steps anticipate the coming of winter, which may affect the conduct of military operations in an attempt by Moscow to consolidate the progress it has made in the past months since the start of the military operation that aimed at protecting the Russian-speaking regions in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Putin's decision was supported by wide segments of the Russian political and military elite, as Vice-President of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev announced that the attack on the liberated lands in Ukraine after the referendum would be considered an attack on Russia itself, stressing that it would be the duty of every Russian to defend these areas, emphasizing indifference to what the West says in this regard.
Moreover, Deputy Chairman of the Russian National Security Council Dmitry Medvedev announced that the referendum in the Donbass and Kherson regions is important for Russia to secure its self-defense, considering that this has a significant impact on the course of the country's development in the coming decades. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that the people of Donbass have the right to determine their own destiny.
It seems that Putin's decision to announce partial mobilization has raised the concern of European countries, which was reflected in the statement of the European Commission's chief spokeswoman Peter Stano, who announced that the European Union is not a part of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, but supports Ukraine, its independence and unity, noting that the Union will continue to support Kiev in humanitarian, military, and economic dimensions.
The announcement came after the European Council ratified a new €5 billion aid package for Kiev, adding to a previous €9 billion aid package. It seems that the European Union is concerned about the possibility of Moscow taking a decision to further reduce the flow of gas and oil to Europe on the eve of the cold autumn season in the old continent, in light of the inability of its countries to find an alternative to Russian gas and oil from other sources around the world.
Data showed that gas flows from Russia to Europe through the Yamal Europe pipeline were completely halted on September 21, to be added to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which has been suspended for several weeks. The Europeans fear that the Russians will stop the Russian supply line through Ukraine, which is still operational, which could lead to a major economic and living disaster in European countries.
It is worth noting that the energy bill in Europe has doubled since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis as a result of what the Europeans consider a deliberate disruption by Moscow of gas and oil supplies in response to the European Union's support for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. This prompted thousands of demonstrators in a large number of European capitals to demonstrate denouncing the stances of their governments against Moscow, which negatively affected their economic and living conditions.
The British liberal newspaper The Guardian expressed fears that European governments would submit to the Russian will and marginalize the "Ukrainian issue in the European conscience" for fear that the Russians would punish these governments by stopping energy supplies permanently.
Parallel to this European retreat, it appears that the United States has exhausted its reserves of weapons and ammunition that it supplied to Ukraine to prolong the conflict with Russia. This made it resort to countries in the Middle East, asking them to provide Ukraine with the Soviet arms stockpiles it possessed since the time of the Cold War.
According to the New York Times, during his visit to the Middle East, US President Joe Biden asked a number of countries in the region to provide Kiev with its Soviet-made weapons due to the near depletion of weapons stocks in the United States and Europe. But Biden was disappointed as he did not receive a response from the countries of the Middle East.
According to a researcher at the Primakov National Institute for Research in Global Economy and International Relations Ilya Kramnik, it is unlikely that Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates will respond to the American demands, especially since they have good relations with Moscow that they do not want to spoil. However, some experts in the Russian newspaper Kommersant fear that the White House will take advantage of the economic crises experienced by some of these countries to lure them with financial aid and loans from the International Monetary Fund, in addition to tempting them with contracts to obtain purchases of advanced American weapons until they agree to sell their arsenal of old soviet weapons to Kiev.
Victory and its conditions
These facts may indicate that Moscow is destined to achieve victory, even if after a while. It is worth noting that Russia does not have the luxury of losing this war, because in this case, the Western powers will not stop at the Ukrainian-Russian borders, but will launch strikes deep inside Russia, mainly in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
But there are conditions for achieving victory that Alexander Dugin summarizes in another article entitled Conditions of Victory. According to Dugin, in order for Russia to achieve victory, it must deepen the Russian collective geopolitical awareness of the reality of what is happening in Ukraine, declare martial law in some border areas adjacent to the arenas of tension and fighting, restructure the Russian economy to turn into a war economy, declare general mobilization (and not only partial mobilization), stimulate Russian society as a whole to engage in the war under the title of a culture of awakening, and strengthen Russian national loyalty, especially among the fluctuating Russian groups in their position on the war.