You’ll see a number of quotations in today’s blog. As a species, we’ve been over this same ground before and others have said it better than I ever could.
“Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” – Winston Churchill
Churchill’s statement was never more true than today in Ukraine.
Russia is already the world’s largest country, spanning two continents—Europe and Asia—and 11 time zones. Its history has seen great wealth and power, although not equally shared. Prior to the Russian Revolution, the leader was the “Tsar,” which is derived from the ancient title of Caesar (as is the German title “Kaiser”).
After the revolution, the Csar was dead and could no longer skim the financial cream from the economy. Theoretically, given that they were committed to the communist system, with its egalitarian focus, there should have been a more equitable distribution. After all, communism’s credo is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” – Karl Marx.
Instead, of sharing, certain Russians stepped in to claim the largest and tastiest pieces of the pie. Then World War II came, and Stalin, Russia’s ruler at the time, grabbed as much territory as he could and made some part of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic and others satellite states. Eventually, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and many nations gained their freedom.
Skipping ahead to today, Vladimir Putin, current ruler of Russia and Tsar wannabe, has initiated efforts to rebuild the Soviet Union, starting with the conquest of Ukraine. It looked like low-hanging fruit since unlike most its neighbors Ukraine did not belong to NATO. Its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not a professional politician—in fact he was a television comic actor.
Things are not exactly going to plan. Ukraine has not been a pushover—its professional military has been trained by NATO. Many/most other males—and many females—have taken up arms and been trained to be an effective extension of the regular military.
Russia’s military philosophy has been, don’t worry about being accurate or doing it right. Instead, it has been, “If you shoot enough artillery shells and rockets, you’re bound to hit something important!” In a way, this is true. Russia’s attack has decimated children’s schools, hospitals, and other places the entire rest of the world would never see as dangerous.
Russia loves flashy missiles, fighter aircraft, and other things that look great in the May day parade. Unfortunately, these are not the keys to winning.
A few quotes that sum things up better than I could:
“I don’t know what the hell this ‘logistics’ is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it.” – Admiral E. J. King
“Amateurs discuss tactics. Professionals discuss logistics.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
Russia does not have reliable trucks to transport the “B’s”—Beans, Bullets, Bandages, and Black Boxes. To add to the negative situation, conscripts who serve for a year don’t have time to learn how to conduct maintenance properly on the vehicles, and they’re too busy counting down days until they are released to give a shit.
Mr. Putin, I’m not a world leader, but I have experience with logistics. All I can say is that I hope that the hole you’re digging for yourself is deep enough.