History belongs to the past, but understanding it is the duty of the present.
“What’s Past is Prologue” – Shakespeare’s The Tempest
The Russian Defense minister, Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on July 3, 2022, that Russian forces have complete control over Luhansk. Russian troops have captured Lysychansk, the last major Ukrainian stronghold in Luhansk. In recent months, Russia now controls the eastern region at the center of the war. (see map below)
On March 29, I tweeted the most compelling question on the Russia and Ukraine conflict. What has Putin always wanted in Ukraine? My answer; Russian control of Eastern Ukraine (Circled in red) legitimized by the west, and sanctions dropped. My crayon was a little off. Sorry. But otherwise, I nailed Russia’s primary objective from a comfortable seat in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, disclosing my methodology would lend “comfort and aid” to our adversary. “Sources and methods” are highly prized in my former universe.
A Ukrainian official confirmed that their troops withdrew from Lysychansk to avoid being surrounded. After months of grueling battle, Russia’s declared capture of Luhansk signals a victory for Moscow and demonstrates how the tide of the war has shifted since March.
What changed on the March timeline? Александр Владимирович Дворников – General Alexander Dvornikov.
In my post on April 22, 2022, “New Past,” I warned my readers about the good General expecting a shift in the war’s progress. Lieutenant General Ihor Romanenko, the former deputy chief of Ukraine’s general staff of armed forces, said of Aleksandr Dvornikov. “Nothing stops him. He sticks to the old Soviet and then Russian approach – if there are forces, they have to be concentrated and used to destroy everything,”
I am a couple of months older than General Alexander Dvornikov. We share an overlapping Cold War history with vastly different ideological perspectives. He is Soviet military through and through. The Russian President’s move to bring the good General in to handle affairs in Ukraine should have set off major alarm bells inside the beltway, the intelligence community, and DOD. If not, you folks are truly lost.
One more piece of advice, please don’t dust off your old containment playbooks from my days. There are far too many omitted facts in the current telling of “Cold War containment” to make a solid applied history argument moving forward.
Until next time. Travel safe.