The Мatch for Ukraine is decided between Washington and Moscow

Novinite Insider » OPINIONS | November 27, 2022, Sunday // 12:21
Bulgaria: The Мatch for Ukraine is decided between Washington and Moscow @Pixabay

Analysis by political scientist Nikolay Nikolov, "Barometer Bulgaria"

Is the end of the war near? This is the question that many are asking themselves after the retreat of Russian troops from Kherson. Will Russia retreat to its own borders? There are other indications that the end of the conflict seems to be near - it turns out that the Russians and Americans are talking to each other. For what exactly - it is not clear for now. The West began to hint more and more clearly that the best solution would be a truce. Insinuations are creeping in more and more often and more and more insubtly that Ukraine will have to swallow a loss of territory in the name of peace. And the case of the missile that fell in Poland, when almost all Western leaders breathed a sigh of relief because it was launched from the territory of Ukraine, once again showed that the West does not intend to and avoids direct involvement in the conflict in every possible way. Moreover, news that is not entirely favorable to Ukraine began to creep into the Western media - an example is the case of the shot Russian soldiers.

However, whether there will be peace remains a mystery. The reason is that Russia remains as unpredictable as it was at the beginning of the war. At the beginning of this year, almost no one believed that Russia would enter Ukraine. After that, everyone expected that it would quickly bend to the sanctions. And practically the entire time, no one was sure what her next move would be. The withdrawal to the east of the Dnieper was also not so expected, despite the vaunted successes of the Ukrainian army (lacking aviation). The fact is, no one can trust Russia Russia - whether it says or does not say what it intends to do, even when it backs down - let's remember Borodino and the fate of Napoleon.

For years, Russia has had a propaganda machine that even Goebbels would envy, and it extends far beyond Russia's borders. All means are being used and it is not just about spreading fake news, using social networks or other tools of hybrid warfare. And purposeful, thoughtful messages from the lowest to the highest intellectual, managerial and power level.

Russia entered Ukraine with the explanation that it had to protect its population - on its territory and in the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine - from the "fascist regime". Moscow destroyed the defense aviation of Ukraine, reached almost to Kyiv, then began to withdraw. In the meantime, it announced a mobilization of 300,000 people, unofficially "leaking" figures of the order of 1,000,000. Accordingly, the West asked itself the question - how far such an army intends to go? Putin issued a not-so-subtle warning about the use of nuclear weapons. And although the West declared that it was a bluff, the statements of quite a few leaders showed that they took the warning seriously enough.

The retreat of the Russian troops began to "wind down" in places, and during this time the entire energy system of Ukraine was subjected to systematic destruction. And the Russians held referendums in four Ukrainian regions, in which the decision to join the Russian Federation, without surprise to anyone, was supported by almost 100% of the population. It is interesting to note that the relatively least support was given in the Kherson region - from which the Russians partially withdrew a few months later. And the retreat itself also turned out to be unusually well-planned - Russian troops were moved across the river literally overnight, when Ukrainian and Western analysts expected it to take at least a week. Whether they will continue to their own borders, however, is doubtful.

Already with their advance, in addition to military actions, it turned out that the Russians were taking a number of steps to control the areas they captured, including quite ambitious ones in the military situation and engineering projects to provide water in the Donetsk region - extremely important not only for the well-being of the local population, but also for the functioning of the coal industry. As the actions of the Russians may be unpredictable, they are by no means chaotic and seem well-planned. And they allude to the memory of the moment when they captured the Crimea and quickly after that began the construction of the Crimean bridge - probably planned years before. The Crimean Bridge, which is the longest in Europe, was built in a little over 2 years, while the actual construction of the Danube Bridge 2 - if we abstract from the long years of its planning - took more than three years, just for comparison.

It is unlikely that Russia will continue its retreat and withdraw from Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Thus, as well as for Ukraine, the loss of these areas would be an extremely bitter pill that would be difficult to swallow. And the reasons are not only related to national pride - on the one hand, with the explanation for the protection of the Russian-speaking population, on the other - with the preservation of territorial integrity. The reasons are much more pragmatic and prosaic – in Dombas there are proven coal deposits for the next 1000 years. And the thing that this war has shown is that the whole world is energy dependent. And even if Western Europe swears to abandon the use of coal, there are enough other consumers of this raw material in the world.

Analysis by political scientist Nikolay Nikolov, "Barometer Bulgaria"

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Tags: Russian, Ukraine, Kherson, war

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