There’s No Denying That The Partial Pullback From Kherson Has Uncomfortable Political Optics

There’s No Denying That The Partial Pullback From Kherson Has Uncomfortable Political Optics

By Andrew Korybko

No matter how one tries to spin it, a setback is still a setback and shouldn’t ever be covered up with conspiracy theories like many in the Alt-Media Community are prone to do. Such developments must be directly addressed, albeit properly presented in the grand strategic context of the New Cold War.

The Russian Ministry of Defence’s decision to partially pull back their troops from the right bank of the Dnieper River in the newly reunified region of Kherson undeniably carried with it very uncomfortable political optics. After all, that former part of Ukraine recently voted to join the Russian Federation, yet now its new homeland’s military forces were compelled to pull out of several thousand square kilometres that Moscow officially regards as its own.

Nevertheless, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed that the Kherson Region’s constitutional status hasn’t changed, thus meaning that it still remains an official part of Russia despite the fact that Moscow lost control over some of its land. This creates the regrettable situation wherein that newly restored world power’s territory is temporarily occupied by foreign forces fully backed by NATO, whose raison d’être​​ has always been anti-Russian.

The preceding observation is fully factual and shouldn’t be sugar-coated with ridiculous “5D chess” conspiracy theories spewed by those in the Alt-Media Community (AMC) who claim to support Russia. Nobody who sincerely stands in solidarity with the Global Revolutionary Movement’s (GRM) de facto leader should deny this objective reality. Rather, they should place this setback in its appropriate context prior to calmly explaining it to their audience so that they can better understand it all.

There was no way that the Russian Armed Forces could retain control of the right bank of Kherson Region with Kiev’s Damocles’ sword of a terrorist attack against the nearby Kakhovka Dam hanging over their heads. That being the case, the highest priority was understandably to preserve the lives of this newly reunified region’s people and the military forces tasked with protecting them. Accordingly, the former began evacuating last month while the latter just completed their corresponding pullback.

Keeping in mind what Peskov recently confirmed, nobody should doubt the Kremlin’s political commitment to liberating Kherson Region sometime in the future even if it currently lacks the military means to do so and might thus not be able to accomplish this objective for the foreseeable future. Those who predict that Russia will launch a large-scale counteroffensive there over the winter once the ground freezes are likely just indulging in wishful thinking since Kiev will certainly fortify the region.

Furthermore, its adversaries are much better equipped than they were at the start of the special operation eight months ago and after receiving comprehensive strategic support from their Western patrons. The prior predictions about a similar such supposedly impending large-scale counteroffensive in Kharkov Region following Russia’s related pullback two months ago also failed to unfold for precisely the same reason. The military fact is that Russia is now fighting a defensive conflict, not an offensive one.

That’s not necessarily a negative development though since “Russia Will Still Strategically Win Even In The Scenario Of A Military Stalemate In Ukraine”, thus meaning that all it has to do is retain the existing Line of Control (LOC) or at least as much of it as is realistically possible under the circumstances. Those aforesaid circumstances refer to Kiev’s growing military strength as a result of NATO’s comprehensive strategic support, which has turned its troops into forces to be reckoned with.

To be clear, had it not been for that selfsame support, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) would have collapsed long ago. This means that they’re presently just a Ukrainian-fronted but fully NATO-backed fighting force, hence why it’s misleading to even refer to them as “Ukrainian” since the essence thereof is completely Western at this point. Upon accepting this description as accurate, it can then be concluded that NATO is the one de facto militarily occupying part of Kherson Region, not the “UAF”.

This comparatively cushions the political blow from the latest military development in Russia’s special operation since it’s understandable that Moscow would temporarily experience a serious setback in the face of fighting a coalition of over two dozen countries that have coalesced into the “UAF”. The hitherto false framing of this conflict as supposedly only being between Russia and Ukraine resulted in the political blow to Moscow misleadingly appearing much more powerful than it actually was.

That said, a setback is still a setback and shouldn’t ever be covered up with conspiracy theories like many in the AMC are prone to do. Such developments must be directly addressed, albeit properly presented in the grand strategic context of the New Cold War. Remembering that Russia only has to reach a military stalemate in Ukraine in order to strategically win, the doom-and-gloom scenarios that some have recently embraced due to perceived desperation become discredited.

As the de facto leader of the GRM, Russia’s newfound role in the world is to accelerate the global systemic transition to multipolarity, to which end simply ensuring its geostrategic survival in spite of politically uncomfortable setbacks like the latest one in Kherson Region is all that’s required. This is because that outcome keeps overarching multipolar trends on track, which will in turn result in achieving this grand strategic goal with time due to the rise of ChinaIndiaIranSaudi Arabia, and Turkiye.

Removing Russia from that geopolitical equation would immediately derail everyone else’s rise, after which a dark period of unipolarity would once again descend on the world for the indefinite future, one that in all likelihood might ultimately end up being irreversible. If Russia calculated that it’s better to temporarily leave part of Kherson Region while still retaining the latter’s constitutional status as a constituent part of the country, then it did so for the purpose of ensuring Russia’s long-term survival.

Anyone can argue over whether it was avoidable had different decisions been made in the past, but decisionmakers clearly agreed that this move was necessary in order to prevent much more serious problems in the future had they remained on the right bank of the Dnieper River. Everyone should remember that the goal right now is ensuring Russia’s continued existence, which isn’t under threat in any case despite Western fantasies to the contrary, in order to complete the global systemic transition.

That being the case, the Kremlin appears to have accepted the Kherson Region’s temporary military occupation by NATO as a trade-off for achieving that grand strategic goal. It’ll never rescind its claims to that territory since it’s a constituent subject of the country following the state’s official recognition of September’s referendum, and the constitution explicitly prohibits giving away any Russian land. For the foreseeable future, it’ll thus likely remain occupied just like other disputed territories across the world.

Once again, despite the uncomfortable optics inherent in the aforementioned trade-off, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Russia’s political loss in this particular battle doesn’t mean its strategic loss in the New Cold War. The global systemic transition continues accelerating towards multipolarity exactly as Moscow expected, which thus leads to the zero-sum strategic losses piling up for Washington. So long as one doesn’t lose sight of this view, doom-and-gloom will be averted and morale thus maintained.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.

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Categories: Analysis, Geopolitics, International Affairs

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